Paul Beurdeley was an avocat at the Court of Appeal in the 8ème arrondissement.
Beurdeley was friendly with Leon Bourgeois who played an important part in the purchase of Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101) by the French government in November 1891 for 4000 francs. Beurdeley himself showed an interest in JW's work, in 1889 admiring a Parisian etching by JW shown at the International Exhibition. In April 1890 he thanked JW for his dedication in his 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' (#00295).
Beurdeley acted as JW's lawyer in the Belgian courts in October 1891 in a lawsuit against Sheridan Ford, Ford having published an unauthorised edition of The Gentle Art of Making Enemies in Ghent in 1890. In 1897 Beurdeley again acted on behalf of JW in an appeal case in Paris against Sir William Eden, who had brought legal action against JW in 1895 for not handing over the portrait of his wife, Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408). Beurdeley won the appeal case and JW was allowed to keep the portrait of Lady Eden provided it was made unrecognisable.
Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; Index biographique francais, compiled by Tommaso Nappo, 2nd edition, 7 vols, Munich, 1998; Whiteley, Linda, 'Boussod, Valadon et Cie', and 'Beurdeley', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, at http://www.groveart.com (accessed 10 July 2002).