The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 13 of 46

System Number: 08638
Date: 27 July [1886][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Charles William Dowdeswell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library Of Congress
Call Number: Rare Books and Manuscripts Division
Document Type: ALS

Dear Mr. Dowdeswell -

I beg to acknowledge receipt of your cheque for £50 - on account of sale of pictures -

I am grieved to hear that you say the Exhibition[3] was an absolute loss to you, and that you could have done better with the works of some one else -

I had flattered myself that I managed [p. 2] to produce effective shows, as far as the decoration of the Gallery[4] goes, at a minimum expenditure - therefore I was not prepared for this statement of loss -

If you know of others with whom you could have brought about more brilliant results and have done better, I must not stand in their way - or in yours any more -

I had no idea of all this - Thinking only that "times were bad" all over London - and never dreaming that I was the Jonah[5] on the ship!

If you will send to the Vale[6] tomorrow morning by about 11. o'clock you can have installment of the proofs[7], which please let Mr Sparks[8] damp and put in press at once -

Very faithfully

J McN. Whistler

July 27.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  27 July [1886]
Dated by references to exhibition and etchings (see below).

2.  Charles William Dowdeswell
Charles William Dowdeswell (1832-1915), art dealer [more].

3.  Exhibition
'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886.

4.  decoration of the Gallery
The gallery was redecorated as an Arrangement in Brown and Gold (see Design for mouldings for Messrs Dowdeswell (M.1103)).

5.  Jonah
Jonah 1.5, 'Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6, So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7, And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.'

6.  Vale
JW and Maud Franklin were living at the 'Pink Palace', The Vale, Chelsea, by February 1885. JW gave up the Vale and Fulham Road studio in the summer of 1888.

7.  proofs
Messrs Dowdeswell published A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6). These 'proofs' were picked up on 28 July by Walter Dowdeswell (#00868 and #00869).

8.  Mr Sparks
Nathaniel Sparks (1880-1956), printer and etcher [more].