UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 3 of 6

System Number: 08031
Date: [12/17 July 1863][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Henri Fantin-Latour[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/33/10
Document Type: ALS[3]


Mon cher enfant!

car tu es enfant ! et enfant le plus nouveau né que je connaisse! Dire que tu te rends malheureux et soucieux pour des tas de cretins[4]! tandis que ta force est herculéene - Mais mon ami Fantin laisse toi à la fin guider - J'agi pour toi. [illegible] éternue sur tout ce monde là et lache les d'un cran! Si tu savais! mais tu es riche! tu es prince et tu es entouré de touts ce luxe que tu aimes que je sais que tu [p. 2] reves! - Viens Fantin - viens viens ! viens! - Le beau frère[5] t'a envoyé de l'argent - et bien voila assez long temps que tu recois des petites sommes pour reproduire les ches [sic] d'oeuvres d'autri [sic] par des chefs d'oeuvres bon marché! Viens simplement ici - de suite - chez moi[6]! Tu y trouveras tout ce qu'il faut pour continuer la gaine et la richesse qui est commencé pour toi! - tout t'attend chevallet, boîte à couleurs! tout - Je n'exagère point Fantin, lorsque je te dis, qu'Alphonse[7] ne mets pas pinceau sur toile sans immediatement faire mille francs! jamais audessous de 800! [p. 3] moi la meme chose!! Il a dans l'espace de trois ou quatre semmaines fait à peu pres de huit mille francs!!! Et bien mon cher Fantin pour toi aussi! la meme chose! peutêtre plus que nous - mais seulement pour nous trois - Ecris moi par le courier de retour pour me dire que tu arrives! de sorte que je puisse aller te rencontrer au chemin de fer! Passes d'abord chez Delatre[8] prendre toutes les planches de Legros que tu apporteras avec - surtout que Delatre n'en oublie point qu'il fouille partout - Aussi tu vas reprendre ton tableau[9] de [p. 4] chez Martinet[10] pour l'apporter avec toi, car c'est deja vendu ici 1500. francs - Enfin! Viens! tout de suite - lache tout! Dilberoglou[11] sera tres heureux de te connaitre ainsi tu n'as pas besoin de rester à Paris pour sa[12] copie - tu reprendras ça peut-être plus tard, si tu as le temps.

J'ai écrit une lettre[13] a Martinet qui va le faire sauter! et à Hardy[14] qui va le faire griller! On ne joue pas de ces tours là avec moi deux fois! - Ne crains rien mon cher Fantin! Prends ton billet pour Londres tout de suite - et ta fortune est fait - Graham[15] se fou dedans et je m'en ris!

ton ami

Whistler


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

My dear child!

Because you are a child! and the most newborn child I know! To say that you have made yourself unhappy because of a heap of cretins! Whereas your strength is Herculean - Now my friend Fantin let yourself be guided by me - I am acting for you. [illegible] sneeze on all those people and leave them behind! If you only knew! [p. 2] you are rich! you are a prince and you are surrounded by all the luxury you love, which I know you dream about! - Come Fantin - come come ! - come! - My brother-in-law has sent you some money - and you have been getting small amounts long enough for copying other people's masterpieces in masterpieces that are cheap! Just come here - now - to my house! You will find everything you need here to continue the progress and wealth which have begun for you! everything is waiting for you easel, paintbox! everything - I am really not exaggerating Fantin, when I tell you that Alphonse does not put brush to canvas without immediately receiving a thousand francs! never less than 800! [p. 3] the same for me!! In the space of three or four weeks he has made about eight thousand francs!!! Well my dear Fantin you, too! the same! perhaps more than us - but only for us three - write by return and tell me you are coming! so that I can meet you at the station! First go and see Delatre to collect all Legros' plates to bring with you - above all Delatre must not forget to search everywhere - Also you should get your picture back from Martinet to bring with you, because it is already sold here for 1500 francs - So! Come! now - leave everything! Dilberoglou will be very happy to meet you so you have no need to stay in Paris for his copy - you can do it later perhaps, if you have time.

I have written Martinet a letter which will make him jump! and one to Hardy which will make him burn. People don't play tricks like that on me twice! Don't worry about anything my dear Fantin! Get your ticket for London now - and your fortune is made! Graham can go to the devil and I shall laugh!

your friend

Whistler


Notes:

1.  [12/17 July 1863]
This is the reply to Fantin-Latour's letter of 11 July 1863 (#01078), and was written before Fantin-Latour's subsequent letter of 19 July (#01082).

2.  Henri Fantin-Latour
Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), artist [more].

3.  ALS
'7' is written in a different hand at the top of p. 1.

4.  cretins
Presumably the people who awarded and received medals at the Salon, pilloried by Fantin-Latour in his letter of 11 July (#01078).

5.  beau frère
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. Haden had sent money to Fantin-Latour before, in 1859 (29 June 1859, #08049). Fantin-Latour copied Titian's Man with a Glove for Haden in 1863 (Louvre, cat. no. 1592; Fantin-Latour, Mme, Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l'oeuvre complète, 1849-1904, Paris, 1911, p. 30).

6.  chez moi
From March 1863 JW was living at 7 Lindsey Row (now 101 Cheyne Walk), Chelsea.

7.  Alphonse
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more], who had recently arrived in Chelsea. On 6 July 1863, George Price Boyce (1826-1897), watercolour painter [more], recorded in his diary: 'To Rossetti's. He and William, Swinburne, Monkton Milnes, Whistler and Legros there. The latter, who doesn't speak English gave us some admirable repetition of French dramatic comedy and opera.' (Old Watercolour Society Club's Nineteenth Annual Album, 1941, p. 25, quoted in Wilcox, Timothy John, Alphonse Legros (1837-1911): Aspects of his Life and Work, [n.p.], 1981, M. Phil thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, London). Either JW or D. G. Rossetti introduced Legros to Alexander Constantine Ionides (1810-1890), shipping merchant and collector [more], and his family; Rossetti also introduced him to James Leathart (1820-1895), collector [more]. In the following year, Du Maurier wrote 'Legros is making his fortune [...] The Greeks are a providence to Jimmy and Legros, in buying their pictures.' ([February 1864], Du Maurier, Daphne, ed., The Young George du Maurier: A Selection of his Letters, 1860-67, London, 1951, p. 227).

8.  Delatre
Auguste Delâtre (1822-1907), printer [more].

9.  tableau
Possibly H. Fantin-Latour, La Féerie (FL.214), 1863, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montreal (Fantin-Latour, Mme, Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l'oeuvre complète, 1849-1904, Paris, 1911, p. 30). It was one of two works by Fantin-Latour rejected by the Salon and exhibited at the Salon des Refusés; the other was a self-portrait, H. Fantin-Latour, Portrait de Fantin (FL.113) (z13), Grenoble, Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture (Ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, gravure, lithographie et architecture, refusés par le Jury de 1863, et exposés, par décision de S. M. l'Empereur, au salon annexe, Palais des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1863, cat. nos. 158 and 159). H. Fantin-Latour, La Féerie (FL.214) was apparently in JW's possession from about this time. When Fantin-Latour heard of JW's bankruptcy in 1879, he asked JW to return 'mon tableau du Salon des Refusés,' via Elizabeth Edwards, his agent (Fantin-Latour to JW, 31 May 1879, #01089). JW wrote to Mrs Edwards about the picture, 'representing a sort of triumphal march, (left with me years ago)' in early 1885, when he was finally sending it back after several requests; 'I shall be sorry to part with it' (JW to E. R. Edwards, [January 1885], #07984). Fantin-Latour thanked JW shortly afterwards for returning the work (Fantin-Latour to JW, 1 February 1885, #01090).

10.  Martinet
Louis Martinet (1814-1895), history painter, Directeur des Beaux-Arts [more]. He organized the [Exposition], Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1863, at his gallery in the Boulevard des Italiens. The exhibition opened in July; Martinet had organized earlier SNBA exhibitions in October 1861 and December 1862.

11.  Dilberoglou
Staurus or Stavros Dilberoglue (1811-1878), merchant, of Cavafy and Co. [more]. Fantin-Latour made copies of several works in the Louvre in 1863.

12.  sa
'sa' [his] is corrected from 'ta' [your].

13.  lettre
The letter has not been traced; it was presumably about Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38) being included in the Société Nationale exhibition. JW had told Fantin-Latour in his previous letter (#08043) that he did not wish this work to be exhibited by Martinet.

14.  Hardy
P. Hardy (later Hardy-Alan), colour merchant in Paris from 1860-1903 [more].

15.  Graham
Probably Arthur Stevens (1825-1900), dealer and, as 'Graham', art critic [more]. He used the pseudonym 'Graham' when writing for Le Figaro