The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: portrait, of JW
Record 14 of 18

System Number: 10641
Date: [15 March 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Marion Farquhar[2]
Place: Kineton
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/34/5
Document Type: ALS[3]

Dear Mrs Farquhar.

I wonder whether it would be as easy for you to come to the studio tomorrow, instead of this morning? -

I do hope you will understand me when I say I do not want to put you off - I only propose to change the day -

The reason I have is this, my [p. 2] own portrait[4] has had its turn, and if today I were to continue yesterdays painting before it dries in, I could finish the picture, and could show you the two great works together!

What do you say? Do you think you could manage this - Besides I have a wonderful piece of news with which I know you will be pleased!

I have again beaten the Baronet[5]!! - He brought the case before the Court of Cassation and I have there, won again! -

This is final, and the Baronet is wiped up for ever!!

If there be a difficulty about tomorrow, Monday would do -

Would it please you to drive round this afternoon at about 4. to half past? and take a cup of tea and a peep at my picture? -

Very sincerely always

J McNeill Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


Mrs Farquhar
The "Manor House"
[postmark:] LONDON S. W. / 12.15 AM / MR 16 / 97
[postmark on verso:] WARWICK 8.30 AM / MR 16 97
[postmark on verso:] KIN[...] / [...] / [MR] 16 / [97]


1.  [15 March 1897]
Date inferred from the postmark.

2.  Marion Farquhar
Marion Farquhar (b. ca 1872, m. 1897), née Peck [more]. This letter concerns sittings for Mrs Farquhar's portrait, Portrait of Miss Marion Peck (YMSM 439), begun in March 1895.

3.  ALS
Written on deep bordered mourning paper. The envelope is addressed in another hand.

4.  own portrait
Perhaps Brown and Gold (YMSM 440). JW worked on the painting intermittently between 1895 and 1900.

5.  Baronet
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. JW is alluding to his dispute with Eden over Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. JW was dissatisfied with his work and refused to hand it over as he believed that it was the artist's right to withhold a picture in such circumstances. In November 1894 Eden instituted legal proceedings against JW which dragged on until December 1897 when JW, on appeal, was permitted by the Cour de Cassation in Paris to keep the picture provided that he did not make use of it. In 1899, JW published his account of the affair in Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24].