The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: art training
Record 17 of 18

System Number: 08083
Date: [September/October 1899][1]
Author: JW
Place: Pourville-sur-Mer
Recipient: Albert Ludovici[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/18/8
Document Type: ALS

Pavillon Madeleine.

My dear Ludovici -

Where are you? -

I send this on the chance of your having returned to town -

Write me a line - for the pleasure of the thing! -

I have staid here nearly [p. 2] ever since I left Amsterdam - with the exception of a few days in London -

September & October are clearly the months for the sea -

I am just beginning to understanding the principle of these things - You know how I always reduce things to principles!

Only I can't stay much longer -

I could not help thinking of your two French painters who thought they had something new in Renoir[3]! - and who looked with contempt upon le "vieux tableau"! -

"Plein air" indeed! - I should like to show you one or two little panels[4]! -

Enfin - nothing matters! - I have told you these things - and one of these days I must send you some of the "Propositions"[5] I talked to you about -

Your letter[6] was greatly enjoyed and Miss Philip[7] sends you many messages of thanks - Certainly I think your stories, so good that I only hope mine were at all like them! -

[p. 3] What news? -

Also have you heard anything further about the Carlton Hotel! -

How is the school after their travels in Holland[8]!

With kindest regards to your wife[9] & yourself

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


A. Ludovici. Esq.
134. Portsdown Road
[postmark:] D[IEPPE] / SE[INE INFRE] / 8 [...]


1.  [September/October 1899]
Dated from the address. JW spent a period convalescing from illness in Pourville-sur-mer from July to October 1899. His references to visits to Amsterdam in mid-August, and London, and to 'September and October', suggest that this letter was written late on in his stay at Pourville.

2.  Albert Ludovici
Albert Ludovici, Jr (1852-1932), painter [more].

3.  Renoir
Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), painter [more].

4.  panels
Such as The Sea, Pourville, No. 1 (YMSM 516), Green and Silver: The Great Sea (YMSM 518), The Sea, Pourville, No. 2 (YMSM 519), The Shore, Pourville (YMSM 521), Grey and Gold: High Tide at Pourville (YMSM 523) and Blue and Silver: Boat Entering Pourville (YMSM 524). These were probably all painted on site in the open air ('plein air').

5.  'Propositions'
See Whistler, James McNeill, 'Propositions.' In A Set of Twenty-Six Etchings by Whistler', (portfolio), London, 1886, and Whistler, James McNeill, 'A Further Proposition,' from 'In Whistler's Studio,' by Malcolm C. Salaman, The Court and Society Review, vol. 3, no. 104, 1 July 1888, pp. 588-90, republished in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890.

6.  Your letter
Not located.

7.  Miss Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].

8.  Holland
Ludovici had been in Dordrecht with his pupils.

9.  wife
Marie Ludovici (b. ca 1852), wife of the painter Albert Ludovici, Jr.