UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: etching exhibition
Record 15 of 41

System Number: 00434
Date: 4 January [1890][1]
Author: Burgers[2]
Place: Amsterdam
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler B213
Document Type: ALS[3]


Amsterdam

4 Jany

Mon Cher Whistler

J'ai reçu votre aimable lettre[4] avec les dix florins en tres bonne conditione, n[']est pas j[']ai bien tardée de vous repondre, mais vous savez mieux que personne, comment ça vient, je devais quitter Amst. pour quelque jours pour des affaires de famille, mais maintenant j[']éspere que vous ne vous vengée pas, en me laissant attendre à la même maniere[.] avant tout, il faut vous dire que vous êtes tres bien representée à la Haÿe[5]. J[']étais la avec notre ami Mispelblom et Mina[6], vos eaux fortes sont exposée sur un pupitre l'un à coté de l'autre, toute la douzaine dans un petit chambre à part avec quelques autre dessins et des gravures tres moderne entre autres une d'apres Brion[7], en pendant pour la cinquantaine [p. 2] de Knaus[8], les votres sont tout à fait séparée des autres au milieu de la chambre, çe jour la je n'ai pus voir Mr Vosmaer[9] qui etait à la campagne mais j'espere de visiter encore une fois la Haye pour quelque jours. Mr Frederic Muller[10] s'informait beaucoup de votre santé, si vous aviez du talent etc. etc. la dernière demande etait tres façile à repondre, la première j[']espere que vous en jouissez[.] Vous Comprenez comment ça me fit du plaisir que vous avez tant de succes a Paris, on se sent grandir à des pareilles nouvelles.

Notre Mispelblom vous a emportée de son père une collection de papier (du beau Hollandais j'espère) à peu près 350 grande feuilles, qui ont seulement deux ou trois lignes sur les côtées. Recevez les Compliments de Rochussen[11], il avait deja reçue les portraits de Mr & Mrs Smith[12], pour signe que vous n'avez pas manquée à votre [p. 3] mission amiable, je vous ai bien dit n'est pas qu'il etait aimable notre capitaine.

A propos de mon adresse il faut vous dire que c'est impossible de l'ecrire plus exactement orthographique mais en[core] une fois

Mev. de Wed.[13] Helweg
Rozengracht. DD 458.

et si vous voulez le comprendre sa veut dire Madame[14] la Veuve Helweg[,] Canal des Roses -

Excusez moi maintenant de vous ayant fait ettendre [sic] si longtems et ne fait pas comme moi

Vous avez beaucoup de succes chez les artistes marquées - les compliments de Mispelblom et ma chère Mina, ainsi à votre aimable femme[15]

de votre

Burgers

[p. 4] n'est pas c'est curieux comme de la porcelaine de japon

[a torn piece of tape is affixed to p. 4, with words:] Amst 9 Mei 18[...]


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

My Dear Whistler

I received your kind letter with the ten florins in very good condition, it is true that I am very late in replying, but you know better than anyone how it happens, I had to leave Amsterdam for a few days for family matters, but now I hope that you are not getting equal by leaving me waiting in the same way, above all I must say that you are very well presented in the Hague. I was there with our friend Mispelblom and Mina, your etchings are exhibited on a stand, next to each other, all twelve in a separate small room with some other drawings and engravings, modern ones amongst others, one after Brion, hanging for the fiftieth anniversary [p. 2] of Knaus, yours are quite separate from the others in the middle of the room, that day I was not able to see Mr Vosmaer who was in the country but I hope to visit the Hague again for a few days. Mr Frederic Muller wanted to know a great deal about your health, whether you have talent, etc. etc. the last question was very easy to answer, the first I hope that you are enjoying good health. You will understand how much pleasure it gives me that you are having such success in Paris, one feels oneself expanding with such news.

Our Mispelblom has brought a collection of paper from his father (some fine Dutch paper I hope) about 350 large sheets, which have only two or three lines at the sides. Rochussen sends his compliments, he had already received the portraits of Mr and Mrs Smith as a sign that you have not neglected your [p. 3] kind mission, I was right to tell you that our captain is very kind

About my address I must tell you that it is impossible to write it with more exact spelling but once again

Madam. the widow Helweg
Rozengracht. DD 458.

and if you want to know what that means, it is Madame the Widow Helweg[,] Roses Canal - Forgive me now for having made you wait such a long time and do not do what I have done

You are a great success with important artists - compliments from Mispelblom and my dear Mimi also to your kind wife

Burgers

[p. 4] is it not strange how the Japanese porcelain[16] [...]


Notes:

1.  4 January [1890]
JW had visited Amsterdam with his wife in 1889.

2.  Burgers
Burgers or Burgess, possibly a print dealer.

3.  ALS
On p. 1, under the date, the name 'Burges' was added in another hand, possibly that of R. B. Philip. The grammatical mistakes in the French have not been marked.

4.  lettre
Not located.

5.  Haÿe
Possibly an exhibtion organised by the Netherlands Etching Club.

6.  Mispelblom et Mina
Mispelblom, a mutual friend of JW and Burgers; and Mina, possibly a relation of Burgers, and mutual friend of JW and Mispelblom, unidentified. Mispeblom, his father, could have been a printer, paper maker or publisher.

7.  Brion
Gustave Brion (1824-1877), genre and history painter [more].

8.  Knaus
Unidentified; it is unlikely to be a reference to the German painter Ludwig Knaus (1829-1910).

9.  Mr. Vosmaer
Carel Vosmaer (1826-1888), etcher and writer on art [more].

10.  Mr. Frederic Muller
Possibly Muller, paper merchant in Amsterdam.

11.  Rochussen
Probably Charles Rochussen (1814-1894), artist.

12.  Mr. & Mrs. Smith
This was presumably a portrait; it has not been identified.

13.  Mev. de Wed.
Short for 'Mevrouw de Weduwe', Dutch, madam the widow.

14.  Madame
Madame Helweg, possibly a landlady.

15.  femme
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

16.  Japanese porcelain
It is not clear if this is a fragment of the letter, or connected to the main text. JW certainly had collected oriental porcelain in Holland, and had friends there who undoubtedly shared his interest in collecting.