The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: nocturne
Record 130 of 143

System Number: 08301
Date: [6 August 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: David Croal Thomson[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 18/1580-1
Document Type: ALS[3]

'Recd Augt 7 - 1895'

110. Rue du Bac - Paris -

Now my dear Mr. Thomson tell me please what is this Nocturne or sea piece as I gather from the article in the Speaker[4] that is sent me tonight, it might be? - Who does it belong to? - and what is its present price? -

I might want to buy it myself. -

Your information with regard to the Peacock Room[5] is most interesting - Do you think that the man in possession[6] would really destroy it? -

Really as an American and a good Scott, McNeill, I wish he would! - It would be so perfectly English in its assertion of legal right! - Or do you think he wants to sell it - Equally English - But in [p. 2] this case we might get it for America -

Find out about it - and let me know -

Dignam[7] - No - I think you have been very kind and have done all and more than one could have asked you to do -

If you answer his brother's[8] letter that is all that one would request -

Have you sold Mr. Ionides' [9] "Sea & Rain"? - and in any case what is the price asked? -

Sarasate[10] - I am glad you can find the photograph - for I cannot -

Tell Prange[11] though that he may have the picture photographed if he likes - and I daresay you can manage that for him as well as you have have [sic] all the others that were in the Exhibition[12] - Only I must then have the negative after wards -

It ou[gh]t to be of the same size as that of the Fur Jacket[13] or the Miss Alexander[14] - no bigger -

A Mrs. Williamson[15] will probably call upon you from Lady Archibald Campbell[16] to ask you for a photograph of that portrait - Give her one, and explain to her that the picture is no longer called ["]Portrait of [p. 3] the Lady Archibald Campbell" - but is known simply as "Le Brodequin jaune" or the "Yellow Buskin", and as such has been bought by the Pennsylvania Academy or Art Gallery in Philadelphia -

You will be pleased to hear that I have just gained the case of "sequestration," of the Eden picture[17] - and that the Baronet[18] has had to pay the costs of both sides!!! -

The main issue you know I appealed against, and it comes off after the vacations! -

In haste
Very sincerely

J McN. Whistler

Is the sea[19] picture referred to in Speaker, Mr Ionides' "Sea & Rain"? If so why do you call it Nocturne? - is the price £300.00?

This document is protected by copyright.


D. C. Thomson Esq -
The Goupil Gallery -
5. Regent Street
London -
[postmark:] PARIS-20 / 195. BD ST GERMAIN / 5E 6 / AOUT / 95
[postmark on verso:] [LONDON] S.W. / AU 7 / 95 / 2


1.  [6 August 1895]
Dated by postmark. The date of receipt was written at the top of p. 1 by D. C. Thomson.

2.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more]. This is a reply to Thomson's letter of 3 August 1895, #05823.

3.  ALS
'61C' is written in another hand in red ink at the top left, '142' in pencil at the bottom right of p. 1, and also on the envelope.

4.  article in the Speaker
Moore had written that Sea and Rain (YMSM 65) was 'a rare bargain' at £300 in George Moore, 'The End of the Season', Speaker, 27 July 1895, p. 98.

5.  Peacock Room
Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178).

6.  man in possession
Actually a woman, Blanche Marie Georgiana Watney (1837?-1915), of the brewing family [more].

7.  Dignam
Michael J. Hoey Dignam (fl. 1893), illustrator [more]; Thomson had given him a commission for some illustrations.

8.  brother's
Not identified.

9.  Mr. Ionides'
Alexander ('Aleco') Ionides (1840-1898), businessman [more], who had sold Sea and Rain (YMSM 65).

10.  Sarasate
Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315).

11.  Prange
Francis Gerard Prange (b. ca 1843), London art dealer [more].

12.  Exhibition
Nocturnes, Marines and Chevalet Pieces, Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892.

13.  Fur Jacket
Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181).

14.  Miss Alexander
Harmony in Grey and Green: Miss Cicely Alexander (YMSM 129).

15.  Mrs. Williamson
Mrs Williamson, a companion or servant of Lady A. Campbell.

16.  Lady Archibald Campbell
Janey Sevilla Campbell (ca 1846 - d.1923), née Callander, Lady Archibald Campbell [more], subject of Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242). See JW's letter to her regarding photographs, #00519.

17.  Eden picture
Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408).

18.  Baronet
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more].

19.  Is the sea
The remainder of the text is written in the margin of p. 1 at right angles to the main text.