The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: pupil of JW
Record 7 of 9

System Number: 08379
Date: 24 October 1895[1]
Author: JW
Place: Lyme Regis
Recipient: David Croal Thomson[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: ALS[3]

Dear Mr. Thomson -

It was very nice of you to send me immediately The Star - It is all right - I know the two Greaves[4] very well -

When I first went to Chelsea they were boys, the sons of Greaves the well known boat builder[5] - my neighbour in Linsay Row -

They were more my pupils than any one else has ever been - and full of talent -

But for years and years I have seen nothing - [p. 2] So I dont know how they have turned out -

All my good or bad influence they may have got rid of - but certainly I shall stand by them - for at least they seem to be loyal -

Now you wait - say nothing of this - I shall when properly prepared write myself -

It is a dangerous thing to be a pupil of Whistler - and before now I have found that the "influence" of that curious master was of the most ephemeral kind!! - I really have brought up no pupil - that is I am responsable [p. 3] for the work of no one - but[6] - Walter & Harry Greaves make an exception partly - that is to say they had no other master - they were at one time always in my studio - where they learnt everything they knew - But again - I left them long before pupils are wont to be left -

The effects of their early training may have remained with them - which would be extraordinary! We shall see - You [p. 4] wait - Thank you all the same - I am greatly pleased that you are so watchful for me -

I forgot to tell you as you asked that the little marine[7] is of course recent work - not painted here - for the sea is impossible here being on the wrong side of the sun! - That is the sun is all day long in your eye on the sea - and the sky effects are behind you -

The little panel was painted in Brittany when we were there - at the same time as those last sea pieces exhibited the other day at the Champ de Mars -

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


D. C. Thomson - Esq -
The Goupil Galleries
5. Regent Street
[postmark:] LYME·REGIS / D / OC24 / 95
[postmark on verso:] LONDON. S. [...] / AR / OC 25 / 95


1.  24 October 1895
Dated from the postmark.

2.  David Croal Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more]. This refers to Thomson's letter of 22 October 1895, #05825.

3.  ALS
'20A' is written in another hand in red ink at top left; '158' in pencil at bottom right, on both cards and envelope.

4.  two Greaves
Walter Greaves (1846-1930), boatman and painter [more]; and Henry Greaves (1843-1904), boat builder and painter [more]. They had just completed decoration of Streatham Town Hall (see #06627, #06628, #06629).

5.  boat builder
Charles William Greaves (1837-1870), of Greaves and Son, boat-builder and waterman [more].

6.  but
Triple underlined.

7.  little marine
This seascape or beachscene was mentioned several times in JW's earlier letters, such as those of [11 and 22 October 1895], #08378 and #05826. It may be Violet and Blue: Among the Rollers (YMSM 413); other paintings done in Brittany in September 1893 include Marine: Blue and Grey (YMSM 410) and Dark Blue and Silver (YMSM 412).