The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: International Exhibition, London, 1862
Record 3 of 5

System Number: 11310
Date: 20 October 1865
Author: JW
Place: Calvados, France
Recipient: Lucas Ionides[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscripts Division, Pennell Whistler Collection, PWC 11/1028-29
Document Type: TLc

Hotel du Bras d'Or -
Calvados -
France -

Friday Evening - Oct. 20 1865

Dear Lucas -

If my credit with you is still as good as you used to say, lend me £50. now.

I shall be able to repay you almost immediately I return to London - that is at the commencement of next month. Only in this case I am afraid that I shall give you some trouble - in this way - I have accepted a bill[3] to pay to Messrs Farmer and Rogers[4] - Oriental Warehouse, Regent St. - for that sum - I think it is due on the 26th of this month - and I cannot return by that time to town - Will you kindly write to them to say that I have begged you to pay it for me at your office in my absence - I am staying here to finish two or three sea pieces[5] which I wish to bring back with me - I believe they will be fine - and worth quite anything of the kind I have ever done - This is a charming place - although now the season is quite over and every one has left - but the effects of sea and sky are finer than during the milder weather - Do drop me a line by return of post and tell me if you can without annoyance to yourself do this for me. This is a large sum and of too much importance for me to borrow if I were not sure of returning it in the time I mention -

Ever yours

James A. M. Whistler

It takes three days for a letter to come [from][6] London here - so write at once -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Lucas Ionides
Lucas ('Luke') Alexander Ionides (1837-1924), stockbroker and businessman [more].

2.  Trouville
JW was in Trouville with Joanna Hiffernan (b. ca 1843), JW's model and mistress [more], painting seascapes with Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), painter [more]. Courbet appears in Harmony in Blue and Silver: Trouville (YMSM 64) which JW described as 'The only painting by me of Courbet.' (JW to D. C. Thomson, #08304). Courbet was captivated by Jo Hiffernan's red hair and painted her, probably around this time, in Gustave Courbet, Portrait de Jo, la belle irlandaise (z59), 1865? (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum) and Gustave Courbet, Portrait de Jo (z60) (New York: private collection).

3.  bill

4.  Messrs Farmer and Rogers
Farmer & Rogers ran a Shawl and Cloak Emporium at 171-5 Regent St. However, in 1862, the firm opened an Oriental Warehouse next door to the main shop, using Japanese exhibits purchased at the London International Exhibition, 1862, as a basis for their stock. The Warehouse was managed by Arthur Lasenby Liberty (1843-1917), designer, founder of Liberty and Co. [more]. It became a meeting place for artists and collectors of Japanese artistic objects. JW's bill was probably for Japanese objects, used as props in such works as Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks (YMSM 47) and Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52).

5.  sea pieces
JW painted a number of seascapes at Trouville including Harmony in Blue and Silver (see note above) and Sea and Rain (YMSM 65).

6.  [from]
The Pennells, who transcribed the letter, inserted '[to?]' at this point.