Documents associated with: auction
Record 3 of 25
Will you kindly allow me to add my testimony to that of the Modern Velasquez in the matter of a picture by him, which he declares to be worthless "in its present state", but which, nevertheless, an enterprising firm (I think that is the correct "press" expression) are endeavouring to sell in Bond-street? I have the best reason to know that in this instance Mr Whistler's opinion is not only correct, but was formed many years ago; since, when on the occasion of his bankruptcy, about eleven years since, I bought his house in Tite-street, the work in question was one of a batch of clearly experimental canvases which he left after the sale upon the premises, and which I had, unless my memory deceives me, to request him to remove. The artist is quite right - if I may be permitted to say so - in resenting the public display, with a price attached "in the way of trade" of a fanciful sketch, which he did not consider sufficiently satisfactory to finish or exhibit; and it might be well if more artists would plainly express their opinion as to the permissibility of "enterprising firms" submitting for sale works of this character, which have presumably been purchased "for a song", as genuine specimens of the art produced by them.
Few people, I think, who have read the courteous remarks (made in the shape of letters to the society newspapers) of Mr Whistler on my critical work will believe that this testimony is unduly prejudiced in his favour. I write it simply as a matter of justice to an artist, who, whatever may be his deficiencies of temper and character, is at least too capable and sincere to exhibit for sale as satisfactory and creditable work which is on the face of it a "rejected essay".
I am, sir, yours faithfully,
21 Bryanston Square
1. 5 August 
Year dated from publication (see below).
Published as 'MR QUILTER IN SUPPORT OF MR WHISTLER', Pall Mall Gazette, 6 August 1891, p. 2.
7. house in Tite-street
In June 1878 JW moved into the White House designed by E. W. Godwin for him as house and studio, but outstanding expenses contributed to his bankruptcy in May 1879. On 18 September 1879 the White House was auctioned and bought by Harry Quilter.