The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: tobacconist
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System Number: 09057
Date: [October 1871/1874][1]
Author: JW
Place: Liverpool
Recipient: Auguste Delâtre[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Institut Néerlandais, Paris
Call Number: 1972-A779
Credit Line: Collection Frits Lugt, Institut Néerlandais, Paris
Document Type: TLc

F. R. L.[3]

Speke Hall - near Liverpool.

Mon cher Delâtre,

Ci-inclu [sic] je vous envoie un échantillon du papier brun dont vous avez enveloppé les eauxfortes[4] [sic] quand vous me les aviez expédié - Eh bien - donc vous avez de ce papier ci ou vous savez au moins où vous l'avez acheté - Maintenant c'est juste le papier qu'il me faut pour mes desins. J'en cherche toujours - mais quoique tous les marchands ont du papier brun, il est rare d'en trouver avec ce beau grain - Ainsi ayez la bonté de m'en acheter tout de suite un bon pacquet - chez le marchand de tabac où vous vous êtes procuré ceci - mais vous savez du même -

Les eauxfortes et pointes seches[5] vont bien - et comme genre il y a du neuf -

Et les planches? -

Je vous serre le bras.
"Chef De l'âtre"[6]

J A McN Whistler -

This document is protected by copyright.


F. R. L.

Speke Hall - near Liverpool

My dear Delatre

Enclosed I am sending you a sample of the brown paper with which you wrapped the etchings when you sent them to me - Well - so you have some of this paper or you know at least where you bought it - Now it is just the paper I need for my drawings. I am always looking for some - but although all the shops have brown paper, it is rare to find any with this fine grain - So be kind enough to buy a good packet of it for me at once - at the tobacconist's where you acquired this - but you understand the very same -

The etchings and the dry-points are going well - and they are something new in this genre -

What about the plates? -

Cordially yours
"Head of the hearth"

J A McN Whistler -


1.  [October 1871/1874]
Dated from visits to Speke Hall and references to etchings.

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

3.  F. R. L.
Printed monogram of Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more]. JW was staying at his country house, Speke Hall, near Liverpool.

4.  eauxfortes
It is possibly these were from the 'Thames Set' of etchings, published as A Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, 1871 (the 'Thames Set') (K.38-44, 46, 52, 66, 68, 71, 74-76, 95) (excat 4) by F. S. Ellis in 1871.

5.  desins
Poor quality rough-surfaced paper had a grain which caught the chalk well and helped JW to create texture and variety in his lines. Examples of drawings done at Speke Hall on such paper (M.425-426, 428-439, 509-531) include r.: Portrait study of Frederick R. Leyland; v.: Head of a boy (M.425) and Elizabeth Dawson, full face (M.441).

6.  eauxfortes et pointes seches
JW's etchings of the Hall and surrounding countryside (K.96, 143-146) included Speke Hall, No.1 (K.96). His drypoints of the Leylands (K.103-110) include F.R.Leyland (K.102), and the beautiful study of Mrs Leyland, The Velvet Dress (K.105).

7.  chef de l'âtre
Literally, head of the hearth, a word-play on Delâtre's name.