The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Spring Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1888
Record 6 of 6

System Number: 02118
Date: [21/31 January 1889?][1]
Author: Paul Helleu[2]
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H219
Document Type: ALS

Mon cher Monsieur Whistler

Votre lettre m'a fait le plus grand plaisir. Malheureusement je n'ai pas vu le terrible Stoot[3]. Je n'ai vu que les affiches qui nous [p. 2] annoncent l'exposition de son Endymion[4] et de sa naissance de Venus[5]. J'ai appris qu'il a raconté chez son ami Blanche[6] mais je n'y assistais pas heureusement.

J'ai toujours trouvé ce garçon affreux [p. 3] Et je me suis nullement éttonné q'après vous avoir mal copié il se conduise comme un pochard.

Je verrai demain Montesquiou[7] et je le mettrai au courant de votre charmante lettre. J'espère que quand vous [p. 4] viendrez à Paris vous viendrez nous voir.

En attendant, présentez je vous prie, mes respectueux compliments à Madame Whistler[8]
Bien à vous

P. Helleu

This document is protected by copyright.


My dear Mr Whistler

Your letter gave me the greatest pleasure. Unfortunately I did not see the terrible Stoot. I only saw the posters which informed us about the exhibition of his Endymion and his birth of Venus. I heard that he was talking at his friend Blanche's but fortunately I was not there.

I have always found this fellow appalling And I was not at all astonished that after having imitated you [so] badly he behaved like a drunkard.

I shall see Montesquieu tomorrow and I shall put him in the picture with your charming letter. I hope that when you come to Paris you will come and see us.

In the meantime, please present my respectful compliments to Mrs Whistler

P. Helleu


1.  [21/31 January 1889?]
Dated by reference to Stott (see below). This letter follows one from JW (#02117).

2.  Paul Helleu
Paul-César-François Helleu (1859-1927), painter and etcher [more]. The notepaper has a deep mourning border.

3.  Stoot
William Stott of Oldham (1857-1900), genre and landscape painter [more].

4.  Endymion
Spring Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1888, cat. no. 242. The Globe on 7 May 1888 described Endymion as 'even more eccentric in conception and treatment' than Stott's Venus born of the sea foam, and was not alone in scoffing at its 'utter absurdity' (GUL PC 9 pp. 100-1).

5.  naissance de Venus
Venus born of the sea foam, exhibited in 64th Annual Exhibition, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1887, cat. no. 341. The model for the painting was Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more]. This may have contributed to the quarrel between Stott and JW.

6.  Blanche
Jacques Émile Blanche (1861-1942), portrait painter, art critic and writer [more].

7.  Montesquiou
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921), Symbolist writer and poet, and collector [more].

8.  Madame Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].