The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: nocturne
Record 32 of 143

System Number: 12104
Date: 5 November 1878
Author: Robert Loveband Fulford[1]
Place: London
Recipient: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: MsDc

In the High Court of Justice
Queen's Bench Division

5th day of November 1878.

Whistler v Ruskin[3]

Office Copy.
Affidavit in support of Summons for Inspection of Pictures.

Fol. 9

Walker Martineau & Co.

[p. 2] In the High Court of Justice
Queens Bench Division

1877. W. No. 818

Between James Abbott McNeill
Whistler . . . Plaintiff
- and -
John Ruskin   Defendant

I Robert Loveband Fulford of No. 13 Kings Road Grays Inn in the County of Middlesex a Member of the Firm of Walker Martineau & Co. the Solicitors for the Defendant in the above Action make oath and say

1  The pictures referred to in the Criticism[4] in respect of which this Action is brought are certain pictures painted by the Defendant Plaintiff and exhibited in the Summer Exhibition at The Grosvenor[5] Gallery in the year 1877 and in the Catalogue for that Exhibition four of such pictures are stated to be the property of the Plaintiff the Artist. -

2  On the 28th day of October 1878 I called on the Plaintiff's Solicitor and explained to him that we desired to have an opportunity of inspecting the pictures exhibited by the Plaintiff at the said Summer Exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery in the year 1877 and to have them produced at the Trial and the Plaintiffs Solicitor promised to communicate with the Plaintiff on the subject and I arranged to call again on the following morning. I subsequently on the same 28th day of October 1878 wrote and caused to be delivered to the said Plaintiffs Solicitor a letter[6] as follows.

13 Kings Road Grays Inn W. C.

28th October 1878

Dear Sir

Ruskin ats Whistler

Referring to our interview this morning we [p. 3] think it as well to send you a list of the pictures exhibited by Mr Whistler and which we wish to have an opportunity of inspecting prior to and to have produced at the trial.

We will call on you tomorrow at 11.

We remain
Yours faithfully

Walker Martineau & Co

J. Anderson Rose Esqre

Pictures exhibited by Mr Whistler in the Summer Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery 1877.
  1 Nocturne in Black and Gold
  2 Nocturne in Blue and Silver
  3 Nocturne in Blue and Gold
  4 Nocturne in Blue and Silver
  5 Arrangement in Black No. 3
       Irving as Philip II of Spain
  6 Harmony in Amber and Black
  7 Arrangement in Brown

3  On the 29th day of October last in pursuance of the Appointment I again called on the Plaintiffs Solicitor and he then refused to give me any information with reference to the Pictures or to assist in any way in obtaining an inspection of them and said that if we desired to inspect them we must take any course which we might be entitled to adopt to obtain them.

'Sworn[7] at No. 24 John Street Bedford Row in the County of Middlesex this fifth day of November 1878 Before me [tick] 8 fos.'

John William Proudfoot[8]

'a Commissioner to administer oaths in the supreme court of Judicature. [tick] 9 fos.'

Robt Fulford

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Robert Loveband Fulford
Robert Loveband Fulford (b. ca 1850), solicitor, of Walker, Martineau and Co. [more].

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

3.  Ruskin
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]. The case of Whistler v. Ruskin was heard at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878.

4.  Criticism
See Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213.

5.  Grosvenor
1st Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1877.

6.  letter
Full annotations are in the letter referred to, which is #12096; see also #12103.

7.  Sworn ... Judicature
Written in another hand, to left of Fulford's signature. Ticks and notes in a third hand were added in the left margin.

8.  John William Proudfoot
John William Proudfoot (b. 1852), barrister, Commissioner to administer oaths [more].