The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: sport, bullfighting
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System Number: 07216
Date: 12 May 1893
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[1]
Place: Seville
Recipient: JW
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1204
Document Type: ALS


May 12 / 93.

Dear Mr. Whistler,

Your letter to London[2] à propos of the etchings & lithos. to go to America, I found upon my arrival here. I am sorry that you did not send them to N. Y. as that the reason I wished them sent from Paris, was to save time, and they are in London yet! Be sure of one thing, and that is, that if I request anything done, I have thought it all out carefully and therefore the risk is mine, of course. If the directions are not followed, the mistake is not mine. I wanted particularly to have those plates in N. Y. at the earliest moment for special reasons and it is just as easy to post them to one place as another and [p. 2] the risk is the same. I selected the roller myself and told Lauser[3] to send them to you &c. ——

Having to remain in England until July, I took an opportunity which offered and came here by the P. & O. boat "[Chirsan?]" to Gibraltar, thence to Tangier[,] to Gib. again, to Algeciras, to Ronda[,] to Granada, to Seville.

I shall say nothing about these picturesque and lovely places Ronda and Granada, the latter being, I think, the most lovely place I ever beheld. Nothing extravagant has been written about its' beauty. It must be seen!

As to this place, it is a lively Spanish town, something not hitherto seen. Most picturesque streets, and many interesting remains of the work of the Moors. I don't think it is any hotter here now than when I was in Paris, where I expect to be again (barring accident) [p. 3] on the 22nd or so. I shall therefore reserve all descriptions & impressions of this Country until then, excepting a bull fight, which I saw yesterday.

I saw four bulls and several horses killed and then I left. I am a p. i. g. (perfectly independent gentleman) and know when I have had enough. To be alliterative the "Sport" is most cruel brutal, barbarous and bloody. Skilful on the part of the men, yes, but the use of the poor old horses, except to gratify a craving for blood and the unnecessarily horrible, is the worst part of the whole wretched business. I can quite understand its popularity with a people whose feelings are blunted, and, omitting the deliberate goring of blindfolded horses, there is a skill and dash and daredevildness, so to speak, which is exciting. But the whole institution is unworthy of a civilized people, and is coarse and degrading. Occasionally a matador becomes careless, and then, "good bye matador, climb the golden stairs if you can". I hope to see you on the 22nd or about then, and will give you an account of Arabs, Moors, bullfighters &c!

With best regards to Mrs. Whistler[4] I am,
Yours Sincerely,

E. G. Kennedy.

M. Whistler

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1.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

2.  letter
JW to E. G. Kennedy, [17 April 1893], #09705.

3.  Lauser
Gustave Lauser (b. ca 1841), London print-seller [more].

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