The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 2 of 92

System Number: 09188
Date: [27 October 1862][1]
Author: JW
Place: Guéthary
Recipient: George Aloysius Lucas[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Call Number: 07 folder, W-Lucas file
Document Type: ALS[3]

Maison de la Croix
Chez Mons. Louis Daguerre
Basses Pyrennées

Dear Lucas -

Many thanks for having so kindly done what I asked you to - and for having written at once - The large picture[4], "toile de soixante[5]," is, you know for exhibition, and the frame I have to pay for myself - so that I can't well afford to run the risk of an expensive one, and perhaps not sell the painting after all! - The Brittany sea piece[6] last year was a "toile de cinquante[7]" and the frame very large and deep as you remember - it cost 150 fr - and if possible I should like to pay no more this time - I would even sacrifice a centimetre or two in breadth and perhaps the outside painted instead of gilded - The rest I leave to you, and am sure I shall be pleased with your choice -

As to the smaller frame, there again I think [p. 2] the people for whom the picture[8] is painted would rather pay 130 fr than 150 fr - So now my dear Lucas you can order both frames and I shall be delighted with them when I return which I am afraid will not be for a month or two yet - as my pictures are long in completing themselves this year - and poor Jo[9] is very full of coughs and generally requires this mild air of the South - although by the way it's precious cold this morning -

If we go to Madrid[10] as I hope we shall, I'll send the paintings on to Hardy's the colour shop in Paris, Rue Childebert, No. 1 out of the Place St. Germain de Pres - where you can see them framed and he will send them to the Boulevards Exposition - I have not heard yet of George's[11] arrival in London, but when I do, I shall let you know, and send his address so that you can write. Didn't you see Tom Winans[12] when he was in Paris? He probably will pass through again, and most likely winter [p. 3] with his brother[13] in Brighton.

The postman is off with this - so adieu pour le moment - and many thanks.

Every yours,

Jim Whistler

Jo and I both say bien des choses to yourself and Madame. I'll be charmed to find myself in your collection[14] which I thought you never would have shocked with one of my productions!

This document is protected by copyright.



Monsieur George Lucas
41 Rue de l'Arc de Triomphe
pres la Barriere de l'Etoile
[stamp:] [blue head]
[postmark:] ST JEAN DE LUZ / 27 / OCT / 62
[postmark on verso:] BAYONNE [illegible]


1.  [27 October 1862]
Dated from postmark; see also Lucas's diary for 29 October 1862: 'Rec'd letter from Whistler.' Randall, Lillian, ed., George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909, Princeton, 1979, p. 143.

2.  George Aloysius Lucas
George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more].

3.  ALS
Published in Mahey, John A., 'The Letters of James McNeill Whistler to George A. Lucas,' Art Bulletin, XLIX, September 1967, pp. 247-57, no. III, at p. 250.

4.  large picture
Probably a sea piece, whereabouts unknown; see Sea Piece (YMSM 43).

5.  toile de soixante
Fr., a canvas stretcher for a marine painting measuring 130 x 81 cm. In France, ready stretched canvases were available in three different groups of sizes: 'paysage' (landscape) 'portrait' and 'marine.' These sizes were traditionally considered appropriate to the subject matter of the work being done.

6.   sea piece
Probably The Coast of Brittany (YMSM 37).

7.  toile de cinquante
Fr., probably a canvas stretcher for a marine painting measuring 116 x 73 cm.

8.  picture
See Subject Unknown (YMSM 42).

9.  Jo
Joanna Hiffernan (b. ca 1843), JW's model and mistress [more].

10.  Madrid
JW planned to visit the Museo del Prado in Madrid to see the works of Velasquez. However, he made it no further than the Spanish border town of Fuenterrabia.

11.  George's
George William Whistler (1822-1869), engineer, JW's half-brother [more].

12.  Tom Winans
Thomas De Kay Winans (1820-1878), locomotive engineer and collector [more].

13.  brother
Probably William Louis Winans (1823-before 1907), locomotive manufacturer and civil engineer [more].

14.  your collection
Lucas had an important collection of JW's etchings, which is now in Baltimore Museum of Art.

15.  Whistler
Written by Lucas in pencil.