The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: sculptor
Record 3 of 9

System Number: 11822
Date: [25/30 May 1884?][1]
Author: Ralph Wormeley Curtis[2]
Place: Venice
Recipient: Theo van Rysselberghe[3]
Place: [unknown]
Repository: Institut Néerlandais, Paris
Call Number: 1988 A 12
Credit Line: Collection Frits Lugt, Institut Néerlandais, Paris
Document Type: ALS[4]

[...] Je suis à peu près seul à représenter le mouvement, Story[5] le frère sculpteur (pas fort) a une lettre[6] de Whistler dans laquelle it se plaint amerement de recevoir du public anglais et de la presse . . . des éloges! "Suis-je vraiment tombé si bas" il demande! - Il vient d'exposer 64 oeuvres et un catalogue bien drole. Tout le monde y court. C'est la chose à la mode à faire! - Il y a trois semaines il était à sec[7]. Maintenant il lunch la Princesse des Galles[8] et toutes les belles femmes sont à son atelier -

Ainsi va la charmante vie de bohême - [...]

[illustration in ink of a square in Venice, with a child dipping its hand into a fountain in the foreground]

This document is protected by copyright.


I am about the only one to represent the movement, Story our brother sculptor (not very strong) has a letter from Whistler in which he complains bitterly about having the British public and the press heaping him with ... praise! 'Have I really fallen so low' he asks! He has just opened an exhibition of 64 works with a very droll catalogue. Everyone is going. It is the fashionable thing to do! - Three weeks ago he was broke. Now he is taking the Princess of Wales to lunch and his studio is full of beautiful ladies. - So goes the charming bohemian life.


1.  [25/30 May 1884?]
Dated from reference to letter from JW to Waldo Story; see below.

2.  Ralph W. Curtis
Ralph Wormeley Curtis (1854-1922), artist [more].

3.  Theo van Rysselberghe
Theodore ('Theo') van Rysselberghe (1862-1926), painter and lithographer [more]. His work was greatly influenced by JW at this time.

4.  ALS
Only the sections of this letter that relate to JW have been transcribed.

5.  Story
Thomas Waldo Story (1854-1915), sculptor [more]. His brother was Julian Russell Story (1850-1919), genre and portrait painter [more].

6.  lettre
Probably the letter of 20/25 May 1884, #09451, referring to his exhibition 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884. The exhibition catalogue contained 67 entries, rather than 64 as stated here, and contained extracts from critics' responses to JW.

7.  à sec
In his letter to Story, JW thanks him for sending him all he had in the bank.

8.  Princesse des Galles
Alexandra Saxe-Coburg (1844-1925), H.R.H. The Princess of Wales [more].