The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: press, journalist
Record 23 of 50

System Number: 00818
Date: [20 October 1890?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler D24
Document Type: ALd[3]

Voila [sic] ce que c'est mon cher Degas que de laisser penetrer chez nous ces infames coureurs d'atelier journalistes! - et celui ci - ce Moore[4] - est un des plus ignobles misérable specimens de ce type ignorant et imoral -

Vivant de [illegible] se qu'il peut ramasser en guise d'ami pour servir plus tard pour à nourir sa haine d'envieux et son estomac de

il dépose ce qu'il a cuelli, salie et defforme de mensonge ou bien dans quelque ridicule brochure Gazette dite d' "Art"[5], ou dans le journal pot au feu ignoble de son frère - [qui vit de?] une vraie peste vase de chantage, [macgouilage?] et difamation -

[p. 2] '- Select etchings[6] - [Simpson[7]?] see. Way[8] - Webb[9] -' [sketches of a butterfly[10] emerging from an egg]

This document is protected by copyright.


This is what it is my dear Degas to allow in these monstrous studio-haunting journalists! - and this one - Moore - is one of the most crass wretched specimens of this ignorant and immoral troop -

Living on [illegible] what he can collect in the guise of a friend to use later for to feed his envious hatred and his stomach on

He tips what he has gathered up, dirtied and deformed by lies either into some ridiculous pamphlet gazette of so-called "Art", or in his brother's vile paper stew-pot - [illegible] a real scourge chamber pot of blackmail, [graft?] and defamation -


1.  [20 October 1890?]
Dated by the reference to Moore (see below).

2.  Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834-1917), artist [more].

3.  ALd
Published in MacDonald, Margaret F. and Joy Newton, 'Letters from the Whistler Collection (University of Glasgow). Correspondance with French Painters,' Gazette des Beaux Arts, no. 128, December 1986, pp. 201-214, at pp. 209-10.

4.  Moore
Augustus Martin Moore (d. 1918), journalist and acting manager [more]. George Moore, praising Degas at JW's expense, said Degas had told JW: 'you conduct yourself in life just as if you had no talent' (Moore, George, 'Degas: The Painter of Modern Life', Magazine of Art, October 1890, pp. 416-25). Degas wrote to Mallarmé: 'Rien ne peut me brouiller avec Whistler!' ('Nothing can make Whistler and me fall out!' - see JW to Mallarmé, 20 October 1890, #03801, and reply, 25 October 1890, #13449; Barbier, Carl P., ed., Correspondance Mallarmé-Whistler: Histoire de la grande amitié de leurs dernières années, Paris, 1964 [GM, A.28], pp. 71-72).

5.  Gazette d'Art
The Gazette des Beaux-Arts was not involved; Moore had never written in it.

6.  Select etchings
These additional notes are in JW's hand, and are not related to the letter.

7.  Simpson
Simpson, an artist related to Mrs J. Holmes.

8.  Way
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

9.  Webb
Probably William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

10.  butterfly
Butterflies hatching out of eggs (M.1432) : (wrongly dated 1895). Butterflies actually hatch from cocoons, but JW seems a bit shaky on natural history.