The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Browse Subjects > Document Display

return to search results

Documents associated with: health (JW)
Record 137 of 172

System Number: 04799
Date: [20 March 1901][1]
Author: JW
Place: Ajaccio
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P439
Document Type: ALS

Wednesday - afternoon -

'March 20. 1901.'

It is pouring pouring pouring! - But I fear you will be amused to hear that Heinemann[3] with his friend[4] went off last night to Nice in the boat - and such a storm has been going on ever since! - What a time they must have had of it! - Indeed the landlord[5] said just now that they will be tossing about still! It is 2. o'clock - and the boat is due in Nice always at 7. or 8 in the morning! -

But everything is terrible - really ever since Ronnie[6] left I think this condition of weather set in - He seems to have had the beginning of it, in his crossing -

I am, I fear, very down Major - for nothing goes on - Here is Ratiers[7] latest - so you see there is not much hope in that affair[8] - What do you think [of] the letter? it seems very thoughtful and nice - and I suppose wise - Take care of them all -

The silk shirt came - and many kind things I say to you about it Ma'ame[9][.] The Ionda[10] I have already acknowledged - This morning I wired you to post me a couple of pieces of charcoal for the scrubbing down of plates[11] - You know Major - there are 3 or 4 stubby fat bits on the shelves behind the stove - I dont know that I can save anything with them - And when I can I really must get away from this storm bound island! -

Ronnies last report has also come - and very complete it is certainly - and thank [him] meanwhile Major for me! -

Go in one day to Van Wisselinghs[12] "Dutch Gallery". There is an exhibition of C. H. Shannon's[13] drawings pastels etc . . Get a catalogue and post -

Get Bunnie[14] or Ronnie to take you slily [sic] in to see Menpes'[15] War things at the Fine Arts - go early - or at lunch time when little Brown[16] is out! -

I cannot understand about the copper plates on Webb's[17] list - They were the [p. 2] etchings in his charge at the time of Whites[18] business - and he returned them all to me - therefore they must be somewhere - I thought in the Studio - Do look them up, Major - They used to be in the back room - on the floor! - They are not, I suppose in the lot that Ronnie brought over? -

Ask Mr Marchand[19] (Goupils) what are the Whistlers in his present exhibition? and who do they belong to? - Go in and see how they look Major -

My health - well most excellent as far as anything like influenza - not a trace of any kind left - rub the wood all of you! - but nervous as a cat!! - and now and then a bad night! Thinking until I am ashamed of myself!

And you see in that way I dont get the rest[20] I came for "and all that!" -

Well, as you say, never mind! I am glad Major you had a good time in spite of "B[21]" - dont you worry about that - If I could only get some of the calm and phlegm I see in others, I could do wonders! -

There is much to say about the Bate - but not yet - She is really excellent in my matters - Ronnie can just explain what my extraordinary plan is, roughly - though he also has never seen the letters either - I think it was an inspiration - and in its way as I tell you has succeeded or is succeeding amazingly - "However"! - - -

The storm goes on! - & on it goes day & night! and the glass goes down with leaps! - and poor Heinemann and the Briton must be at this minute - nearly three - up and down - & up again to a most apalling [sic] degree! -

Here is a check [sic] - Wire Major "Safe" - & Ajaccio is enough - I am going to drive over to the Conservateur[22] notwithstanding -


the General - -

Ask Webb what news about Hinde Street[23] -

Also to prepare "indentures" for Clifford Addams[24].

The little pictures[25] had better come back from Heinemanns but I will write for them - You are not to go or send -

But leave space for name until I have it quite complete

This document is protected by copyright.


'MAR. 10 1901'


Miss Rosalind Birnie-Philip
Dhu House -
36. Tite Street - Chelsea
London -
[postmark:] AJACCIO / CORSE / [ ] 20 / [MARS?] / 01
[postmark:] REGISTERED / LONDON / [ ] / 24 MR 01
[postmark on verso:] REGISTERED / S. W. D. / 7.15.AM / 25 MR 01



1.  [20 March 1901]
Dated from the postmark. The date was also written by the recipient on letter and envelope.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW called her 'Major' and himself 'General'.

3.  Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more]. He had just visited JW in Ajaccio.

4.  friend
Arthur John W. Circuitt (b. ca 1856), bank clerk [more].

5.  landlord
Alb. Bosshart-Reichen, proprietor of the Hotel Schweizerhof, Ajaccio.

6.  Ronnie
Ronald Murray Philip (1871-1940), civil engineer, JW's brother-in-law [more].

7.  Ratiers
Antoine ('Antony') Ratier (b. 1851), lawyer and politician [more].

8.  affair
JW had lost his lawsuit against Mme Saleron, JW's neighbour at 110 rue du Bac [more].

9.  Ma'ame
Frances Philip (1824-1917), née Black, JW's mother-in-law [more].

10.  Ionda
Patent medicine.

11.  plates
JW had trouble with the acid-resistant varnish on his copper-plates. See MacInnes, Margaret F., 'Whistler's Last Years: Spring 1901 - Algiers and Corsica,' Gazette des Beaux-Arts, LXXIII, 1969, pp. 323-42.

12.  Van Wisselinghs
Elbert Jan Van Wisselingh (b. ca 1848), art dealer [more].

13.  C. H. Shannon's
Charles Hazlewood Shannon (1863-1937), painter and lithographer [more].

14.  Bunnie
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

15.  Menpes'
Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1860-1938), artist [more], published his drawings and paintings of the South African war in War Impressions, London, 1901.

16.  Brown
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more].

17.  Webb's
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more]. His list of etchings is in #04797.

18.  Whites
A. W. White (b. ca 1843), solicitor's clerk, JW's landlord at 8 Fitzroy Square [more].

19.  Mr Marchand
William Stephen Marchant (1868-1925), art dealer [more].

20.  rest
Double underlined.

21.  B
Inez Eleanor Addams (fl. 1898-1927), née Bate, painter [more].

22.  Conservateur
François Péraldi, curator [more].

23.  Hinde Street
This had been the premises of JW's shop, the Company of the Butterfly.

24.  Clifford Addams
Clifford Isaac Addams (1876-1942), etcher [more]. He and his wife were indentured as Apprentices to JW.

25.  The little pictures
'The little pictures ... send' is in the right margin, and the following sentence in the left margin.

26.  Recommandée
Triple underlined.