Dear Atlas, -
'Your James' has published some calumnious butterfly prose about me in Henry's paper.
Will you give me hospitalty [sic] for a reply?
I am accused of being a turncoat, and of having, in an article published in the New York Sun, abandoned the opinions concerning Mr. Whistler's work which I had the pleasure of expressing in the Fortnightly.
This is an absolute misrepresentation. My article in the Sun is entitled: 'Mr. Whistler's Ten o'Clock,' and begins thus:
'Here in Paris we only know Whistler the etcher of the Thames and of Venice, and Whistler the painter of 'The White Girl,' exhibited in the Salon of 1863, of the Japanese fantasie 'On The Balcony,' of 'At the Piano,' and of the portraits of Miss Alexander, of Thomas Carlyle, and of the artist's mother - half a dozen works which are as near masterpieces as anything which this century has produced.
'Thus his position as an artist is most honorable.'
After having thus placed Mr. Whistler, the painter and etcher, safely away on a pedestal of respect, I proceed in my article to study at some length the paradoxes of the 'Ten o'Clock,' and to criticise 'Jimmy' the wit and 'Jimmy ' the preacher, whose ambition it is to become the Sarah Bernhardt of the lecture-room.
The only answer 'Jimmy' can make to my article is to go to America at once.
It is not by continually 'disappointing a continent' that he will convince the Trans-atlantic public of the excellency of his 'Ten o'Clock' gospel.
The World, Jan. 19, 1887.
1. 19 January 1887
Date of publication in the World.
Published in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, ed. Sheridan Ford, Paris, 1890, pp. 154-5, under the title 'BUTTERFLY CALUMNY'.
6. 'Mr. Whistler's Ten o'Clock,'
Whistler, James McNeill, Mr. Whistler's 'Ten O'Clock.', London, 1885. Child's reviews appeared in the New York Sun, 1886, and Fortnightly Review, 1886.
7. Thames and of Venice
A Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, 1871 (the 'Thames Set') (K.38-44, 46, 52, 66, 68, 71, 74-76, 95) (excat 4), Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5), and A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6).
8. The White Girl
The paintings cited are Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38), Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (YMSM 56), At the Piano (YMSM 24), Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129), Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137) and Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101).