The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: press, letters published in
Record 12 of 141

System Number: 09614
Date: [February 1883/1886?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: [unknown]
Repository: Published
Document Type: TDc[2]

"An unpleasing thing - framed in Mr Whistler's odd fashion." City Press
"Nocturne Palaces."[3] No 12. Catalogue.

"The Nocturne[4] is intended to convey an impression of night" - P. G. Hamerton[5].

"Pictures in darkness are contradictions in terms."
Literary World

"There is seldom in his etchings any large arrangement of light and shade" - P. G. Hamerton

"All those theoretical principles of the Art, of which we have heard so much from Messrs Haden[6], Hamerton* and Lalauze[7], are abandoned."

* "Calling me "a Mr Hamerton", does me no harm - but it is a breach of ordinary good manners in speaking of a well known writer."

Yours obediently
P. G. Hamerton. Sept. 29. 1880.

To the Editor of the New York Tribune.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [February 1883/1886?]
Dated from reference to publication and etching (see note below).

2.  TDc
These are a few of the extracts from critical reviews used by JW in Etchings & Drypoints. Venice. Second Series, the exhibition catalogue for Mr Whistler's Etchings, The Fine Art Society, London, 1883. Published in sale catalogue, Gordon Cooke, London, [1990/1995]. According to the sale catalogue entry, the original notes were inscribed by JW in pencil on the mounting board of the etching Nocturne: Palaces (K.202), below the image. The etching was published in A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6).

3.  Nocturne Palaces
Nocturne: Palaces (K.202).

4.  Nocturne
Nocturne (K.184).

5.  P. G. Hamerton
Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1834-1894), author, critic and artist [more]. His letter was published in the New York Tribune on 11 October 1880, p. 5 under the title 'Mr Whistler's Thames Etchings.' (#11397). This was part of a series of letters sparked by his article (Philip Gilbert Hamerton, 'Mr. Seymour Haden's Etchings,' Scribners Monthly, vol. 20, no. 4, August 1880, pp. 586-601). See also JW's letter to the New York Tribune, 12 September 1880, #04281; JW to P. G. Hamerton, #11396; P. G. Hamerton to JW, #11395, and F. S. Haden to New York Tribune, 17 October 1880, p. 5). Examples of his etchings can be seen in Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, Etching and Etchers, London, 1868.

6.  Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

7.  Lalauze
It is not entirely clear if JW means Maxime Lalanne (1822-1886), designer and etcher, author of a treatise on etching, or possibly Adolphe Lalauze (1838-1906), etcher and illustrator.