The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Winter Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887-1888
Record 2 of 30

System Number: 13356
Date: [1886/1888][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Edmund Hodgson Yates[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow
Call Number: GLAHA 46117, pp. 71-74
Document Type: ALdS

Atlas! -

You have whilom allowed me to say in reference to our erst Arry[3]: Ne pas confondre inteligence [sic] avec gendarme[4] - and now that the whole gendarmerie of France has you have these gendarmes showing themselves full of wit and perception who thought very [illegible] upon Mr P G H[5] & thrust him into prison for masquerading in the guise of an Artist and attempting to foist what he calls drawing sketches upon the [Frenchmen?] who know a drawing when they see one -

[p. 2][6] that rather astounding combination of cheapness & vulgarity

[Thus?] Mr [G?] - really means that he himself deals in that large way with his work [as to?] bring about such small results - Remember we have seen his portraits and shall not forget his shocking Print seller - rejected from Suffolk Street[7] last year - perhaps its rejection explains much of the good feeling in the letter -

[p. 3] But again why Edmund - again why these little niceties of elimination - I notice that they often occur - and always at the point of superlative admiration which should be the exaggerating characteristic of all writing upon Whistler it should ought might be your Atlas' pride to collect -

But I am not without a consciousness that Edmund is less devoted than Atlas - ce qui n'empeche [sic] pas[8] that I am really sorry to know that Edmund has been ill & laid up - 9 thousand best wishes -

[butterfly signature] -

[p. 4] The points in Mr [Gormans letter?] to be [met at all are first - ?]

beyond the the [sic] question of English I fancy finally out of [place?] with [a man who?]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [1886/1888]
Dated from rest of sketchbook (Sketchbook (M.1145)), which includes, for instance, a draft letter from JW to H. Labouchère of [21 August 1886?], #13353 (see also #09014, #13351, #13352, #13355, #13357).

2.  Edmund Hodgson Yates
Edmund Hodgson Yates (1831-1894), novelist, 'Atlas' columnist and editor-proprietor of the World [more].

3.  Arry
Henry ('Arry') Quilter (1851-1907), advocate and art critic [more].

4.  Ne pas confondre inteligence [sic] avec gendarme
Fr., do not confuse intelligence with policemen.

5.  PGH
The initials are hard to read but may indicate Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1834-1894), author, critic and artist [more].

6.  [p. 2]
This text appears to start on p. 71 of the sketchbook, and continues on pp. 72, 74 and 73, the whole being written at right angles to the main text in the book.

7.  Suffolk Street
The galleries of the Society of British Artists (SBA, later RBA) were located in Suffolk Street. JW's policy as President was to prune their exhibitions drastically, showing fewer pictures with more space around them. Many members were offended as a result. This letter may therefore date from after the 64th Annual Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887, when JW's influence was at its peak.

8.  ce qui n'empeche [sic] pas
Fr., this does not prevent.