The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: oil painting, sale
Record 19 of 334

System Number: 11749
Date: 6 October 1884
Author: William Hole[1]
Place: [Edinburgh]
Recipient: Editor, The Scotsman[2]
Place: [Edinburgh]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 14/1363/6
Document Type: TLc

30, Saxe Coburg Place,

October 6th, 1884.


I believe I shall represent the feeling of a large majority of Scottish Artists if I express the hope that Mr Halkett's[3] admirable suggestion regarding Mr Whistler's portrait of portrait of Carlyle[4] will meet with ready approval and response from the public, and be the means of uniting the widespread feeling to which he refers into a practical movement.

The picture is one of the best examples of a master who, at his best, and within his own limits, is almost beyond criticism, and, considering the great advance in art knowledge made of late years in Scotland, there are few, I think, who have given the work careful study and thought, who will not endorse the opinion already formed by many of the best critics at home and abroad that Whistler's "Carlyle" is one of the noblest examples of modern portraiture that its possession, therefore, would add lustre to any art gallery, and that i[t]s subject renders the national collection of Scotland its most fitting resting place.

I am, etc.

(Signed[)] WILLIAM HOLE.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  William Hole
William Brassey Hole (1846-1917), painter and graver [more].

2.  Editor, The Scotsman
This letter was published in The Scotsman, 7 October, 1884.

3.  Mr Halkett's
George Roland Halkett (1855-1918), artist, critic and political cartoonist. See his letter of 3 October 1884, (#11748).

4.  portrait of Carlyle
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137), of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), historian and philosopher [more], had been on exhibition in Loan Exhibition, Scottish National Portraits, Board of Manufactures, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1884. It was eventually purchased by the city of Glasgow in 1891.