The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: lithographic stump
Record 9 of 16

System Number: 03351
Date: [18/23 November 1893][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Thomas Robert Way[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 108
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: AL[3]

Old letter begun[4]

110. Rue du Bac. Paris.

My dear Tom -

I got your letter[5] today just after my note[6] to you had gone - Now this thing of the stump in the sky[7] turning out too dark, or too heavy is astounding! - I was so afraid of it always being too light to roll up at all! However in future all[8] the delecacies [sic] I shall certainly require of you tell your Father[9]!! - The least touch of the stump & up you go! - Bravo! what lovely things I shall be doing - I have now two more stones ready for you & a really delightful little drawing[10] on paper - unless [p. 2] I deceive myself greatly - Very simple and very fair -

I cannot understand the black spots you speak of - unless they may be finger marks outside the drawing - & these are because of the bothering with the stump tablet - Well I am most anxious to see! -

The sitting figure[11] ought to turn out well - I do trust she will - How about the lying down one[12]? That ought [to] be simple & easy to keep crisp and fair in the printing -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [18/23 November 1893]
Dated by references to correspondence (see below). It is likely that this letter was started on 18 November 1893, and completed and posted several days later. It is dated '23 Novr 93' in pencil, in another hand, on p. 1. A copy of this letter by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more], records it as having an envelope (Whistler LB 5/32/2), but the envelope as described by R. B. Philip is now catalogued with JW to Way, [21 November 1893], #03350. This may be misleading, and it is possible that #03351 and #03350 were originally posted in the same envelope but not sent until 25 November 1893.

2.  Thomas Robert Way
Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), printer, lithographer and painter [more].

3.  AL
Published in Spink, Nesta R., The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler, gen. eds Harriet K. Stratis and Martha Tedeschi, Chicago, 1998, vol. 2, p. 72, no. 57.

4.  Old letter begun
Note added diagonally across the top left corner of p. 1.

5.  letter
Not located.

6.  my note
This was probably JW's letter to Way, postmarked 18 November 1893, #03349.

7.  stump in the sky
The soft, rich effects obtained by applying crayon to the lithographic stone by means of a cloth or leather stump or block.

8.  all
Triple underlined.

9.  Father
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

10.  drawing
Regarding JW's new work on stones in Paris, see #06102. The new transfer drawing was probably Little Draped Figure, Leaning (C.76).

11.  sitting figure
The Draped Figure, Seated (C.72).

12.  lying down one
Nude Model, Reclining (C.73).