The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 3rd Exhibition, Society of Portrait Painters, London, 1893
Record 2 of 8

System Number: 10718
Date: 4 May 1893
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Stephen Richards[1]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/44/8
Document Type: ALS

110. Rue du Bac. Paris -

May 4. 1893 -

Dear Sir -

My large picture of "Sarasate[2]" is to come to you before going to the "Portrait Painters" at the Grafton Gallery -

Of this you will hear from Mr Prange[3] - Perhaps you have already got it - If not you had better go and see Mr Prange -

Also you will receive three other [p. 2] pictures - No. 1. A sketch of mine on Millboard called known as the Studio[4] -

No. 2. Small panel by Mrs Whistler[5] -

No. 3. Portrait of myself as a boy by Sir William Boxall[6] -

No. 1. You will clean very delicately - getting rid of all the dirt, and then varnish beautifully - But be very[7] carefull! [sic]

No. 2 - Same care - clean & varnish -

No. 3. Is very dirty - has never been cleaned must use great care - as doubtless Boxall used glazes & all sorts of things. Then Varnish -

Now - the Sarasate portrait, you cannot be too careful with -

It is painted on very rough canvas and you must beware of rubbing! -

It only wants gentle cleaning - and very splendid varnishing - for the picture has quite sunk in - and will depend entirely upon its perfect condition for its real strength and value -

I leave all this in your hands and [p. 3] have great faith in your care & discretion as well as your skill -

But you must hurry the people up - so that you may be entirely at your ease - Not that there [be] anything much to do - only I should like you to do it with ease and pleasure -

Please write to me and tell me you how it goes on -

Yours truly

J McN Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


'About Sarasates portrait[8]'

Mr Stephen Richards
4. Berners Street -
Oxford Street
London -
[postmark:] PARIS-80 / R. DU BAC / 7E 4 / MAI / 93
[postmark on verso:] LONDON-W / V7 / MY 5 / 93


1.  Stephen Richards
Stephen Richards (b. ca 1845), picture restorer [more].

2.  Sarasate
Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315), on show at 3rd Exhibition, Society of Portrait Painters, London, 1893.

3.  Prange
Francis Gerard Prange (b. ca 1843), London art dealer [more].

4.  Studio
Whistler in his Studio (YMSM 63) was also exhibited with the Society of Portrait Painters but remianed unsold; it was owned by William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more], who needed some money urgently.

5.  Mrs Whistler
B. Whistler, A Portrait. Many oil paintings by Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more], are in the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow.

6.  Sir William Boxall
William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more], whose portrait of JW is in the Hunterian Art Gallery (W. Boxall, Portrait of J. Whistler (z76)).

7.  very
Double underlined.

8.  About Sarasates portrait
Note written in another hand.