UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 12007
Date: [December 1878?][1]
Author: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: [none]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: AD


Extracts from evidence
Rossetti[3]
Willes [sic]
A Moore -
also particularly
B Jones[4]

[p. 2] Extracts from Newspapers
especially the Daily News[5]

(no almost every newspaper after abusing Mr W proceeds to set on MrRuskin[6] & complain of the terms he used in reference to W - From this part of of ev of every newspaper article most important extracts can may be made for our purpose

[p. 3] quotation from Ruskin as to contradicting himself 3 times

The age of duelling has happily passed away & the physical condition [four or five illegible words] of one of the parties precludes the suggestion of the use of the horse whip - but a British jury have decided that the following is a criticism of works of art (set out libel) - The friends of Mr Whistler believe that this is a personal & most injurious abuse of the man & a grievous wrong inflicted on Mr Whistler for which neither the law justice is not to be obtained by law - nor by the code of Society[,] many friends of Mr Whistler deeply sympathise with him in [the?] failure [p. 4] of his attempt to obtain justice & the knowledge of this fact that in making such attempt the result has been to entail upon him a very large liability for the costs of his legal proceedings

Mr Ruskin has appealed in the name [or?] so called of the Fine art society[7] which is in fact a limited company for the sale of prints & other works of art - in which limited company Mr Ruskin is a large shareholder

Under these circumstances [p. 5] The admirers of Mr Wh[istler's] work & those who appreciate his manly courage in seeking redress for personal insult not critiscism [sic] which he courts have determined to make this personal appeal - for pecuniary assistance to enabl[e] Mr W to resume his prof artistic work - as a painter & etcher freed from the legal claims & losses which have beset in consequence of the violent personal attack made on him by Mr Ruskin


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Notes:

1.  [December 1878?]
The case of Whistler v. Ruskin was heard at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878. These notes were meant to form the basis for an appeal to raise money to cover JW's costs, following a similar appeal launched by the Fine Art Society at the end of November (see below).

2.  James Anderson Rose
This document passed with JW's legal papers to James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]. Another version of this is #13286; a partial copy of this is #12058. Rose had penned some of these thoughts to JW on 29 November 1878; see #05231.

3.  Rossetti
Witnesses called for JW were William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919), civil servant and critic [more], Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893), painter [more], and William Gorman Wills (1828-1891), playwright and painter [more] (see Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 141-45 for JW's testimony; pp. 154-58 for Rossetti; pp. 158-59 for Moore; pp. 160-61 for Wills).

4.  B Jones
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), painter and designer [more]. He was embarrassed by having to appear on Ruskin's behalf, for which JW never forgave him (Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 171-76).

5.  Daily News
The Daily News, 21 July 1877, commented that Ruskin 'has spoken with excessive severity about Mr Whistler.' This was mentioned during the Whistler v Ruskin trial (see Statement of Claim, 19 November 1877, #12074).

6.  Ruskin
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]; his libel of JW appeared in Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213.

7.  Fine art society
In December 1878 the Fine Art Society launched a successful appeal to raise money for Ruskin's legal costs (see #11688). The parallel attempt on JW's behalf failed.