UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 7 of 10

System Number: 07485
Date: [1887/1900?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London?]
Recipient: [a newspaper editor][2]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler X55
Document Type: ALd


It is curious to notice the various developments of a crusade whether in Art, Science, or Literature -

No one I suppose has been so more determinedly opposed and done daily battle with than Mr. Whistler -

And No one again has so continually, so skillfully so brilliantly met, and in open combat disabled, greviously [sic] wounded and absolutely destroyed his opponents, as this same undauntedly brave, and joyous Master Knight of the pen as well as of the brush

Of One of the latest attempts at forms that of disparagement that the attacks upon Mr W. have taken I find in an article, evidently based upon in reply to some previous eulogy (for he has his warm admirers)

In this the, to me, unknown writer, has at least found a new method of assault -

He grants that our Painter is gifted - but insists that in England alone could he have become a notoriety and brought attained a position of accepted "Maitre" -

For this reason does this charlatan remain among us - "dans le royaume[3] des aveugles; where les borgnes sont rois!" - That in France on the for instance he would be lost in the obscurity of the second rate - etc etc -

This has been curiously brought to my memory by the following that I read in the Journal des Arts - [...]


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Notes:

1.  [1887/1900?]
Dated by writing. Several letters adopting a similar tone and relating to the New York Sun and the Fortnightly Review date from 1887 (see #04376, #11329, #04380, #04387).

2.  [a newspaper editor]
This letter or draft article apparently attacking a critic and defending JW is written entirely in JW's hand. It appears to be incomplete. As far as is known, it was not published.

3.  dans le royaume ... rois!
Fr., in the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed are kings. This is a version of the popular proverb coined by Desiderius Erasmus (1466 - 1536) in Adagia (III, IV, 96): "In regione caecorum rex est luscus" (in the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king).