The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: oil painting, sales
Record 10 of 135

System Number: 12111
Date: 28 October 1878
Author: Algernon Graves and James Anderson Rose[1]
Place: London
Recipient: [none]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: AN


Published Carlyle[3]

What success has the Carlyle plate had

How it sold because it was Carlyle or because it was painted by Whistler

Do Literary men sell as a rule;

Does Mr Whistler have any benefit out of the plate

Have we been able to sell the picture

Have we ever had any nocturnes -

[p. 2] Have we sold any

Did we get Whistlers price for it or did Mr Ruskins criticisms cause a reduction in the price

Do I consider Mr R[uskin]'s criticisms have been injurious to Mr W[histler].

Has Turner[4] ever painted anything of the Nocturne class.

[p. 3] asked was
got - - do

[p. 4] acquired from[illegible words] suggestions
[his?] Proof [illegible words]

[p. 5] Notes of interview with Walker & Co[5].

W. C.

28 Octr 1878

4 pictures at the Spring exhibition of 1877
Messrs Walker Eq
4 And they want to see them I cannot undertake to produce them [here & rather?] will have to [see?] the owners to produce [p. 6] them & I am to let them know who the owners are[.] If they are in Mr Whistlers possession he will have to produce them
Will not


[p. 7] '138'

Messrs Walker Martineau & Co expect to hear from Mr Ruskin whether he will attend the Trial - if [then?] he will not - the trial must be postponed for you to serve [him?] [illegible word or words] if he can attend they [illegible word or words] the Trial -

They have bespoke copies of the paragraphs in the various papers - & I have left them with the stationers to be copied -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Algernon Graves and James Anderson Rose
Algernon Graves (1845-1922), of H. Graves and Co., print dealers [more] and James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]. Pages 1-4 of these notes appear to be in Graves hand and the remainder in that of Rose. They seem to have formed part of Rose's preparations for JW's libel suit against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]. On 2 July 1877, Ruskin accused JW of 'flinging a pot of paint in the public's face' in a review of the I Summer Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery, London, published in his periodical Fors Clavigera. See Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213.

2.  '156'
This and the numbers 138 and 142 (elsewhere in this document) are written in another hand.

3.   Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), historian and philosopher [more]. An engraving of Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137) was published in a limited edition by Henry Graves and Company of Pall Mall. The first proofs were delivered on 2 December 1878 (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, I, pp. 226-27). As Rose was keen to prove that Ruskin's criticism had been detrimental to the sale of JW's work, he must have consulted Algernon Graves about the trial since these notes about the engraving and the commercial potential of Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137) are in his hand.

4.  Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), painter [more]. Turner was greatly admired by Ruskin.

5.  Walker & Co
Solicitors for Ruskin.