The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 2nd Exhibition, Society of Portrait Painters, London, 1892
Record 3 of 8

System Number: 03206
Date: [26 June 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Alexander Reid[2]
Place: Glasgow
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 199
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALS[3]

Dear Mr Reid -

I am very greatly pleased to know that you have done as I asked you to, and sent the Princesse[4] to Piccadilly -

They have given her there I hear the place of honour, in the big room - and I suppose she will have no difficulty in holding her own! -

It is rather a bore in a way that those Glasgow papers should be so over wise and minute in all their knowledge - What they send me is, in spite of [p. 2] all ones experience in abuse, much more tiresome in its dilettante connoisseurship of appreciation -

Such nonsense about joyousness and period - The picture takes its place simply with all the others and differs in no way from the portrait of Carlyle[5], excepting in as much as Carlyle himself dear old Gentleman differs from a Young lady in a Japanese dressing gown, in which it was not likely the Chelsea Sage should ever be seen! - Now I have just spilled some of the etching mixture over this & must leave you to make out what is pretty well bitten in!. -

[p. 3] As to the Dame au Brodequin Jaune[6] well I do think the "old song" that you propose you ought not to go on singing! -

If you will raise your note I shall be always pleased to listen to you -

What about the lithographs by the way? - I have had some beautiful proofs on old Dutch paper since. Did you not say that you required some for your clients -

Write me a line - on these two matters - The Princesse will I am sure make a great success - but I hope in any case you will finally send her over to Chicago[7] - There is where all the thousands will come to you for these pictures [p. 4] of mine - and I do want them to be got out of England! -

Very sincerely Yrs -

J McN Whistler

33. Rue de Tournon Paris.

This document is protected by copyright.


Alexander Reid Esq -
Société des Beaux Arts
West George Street -
Glasgow -
[stamp, illegible]
[postmark:] PARIS [...] / GARE DU NORD / [7?] 26 / JUIN / 92
[postmark on verso:] GLASGOW / 159 / 13 W / JU 27 / 92
[postmark on verso, illegible]


1.  [26 June 1892]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Alexander Reid
Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more].

3.  ALS
A copy of this letter in the hand of Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more], appears in GUL Whistler LB 4/47/2-48.

4.  Princesse
La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (YMSM 50) was intended for the 2nd Exhibition, Society of Portrait Painters, London, 1892.

5.  Carlyle
Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137).

6.  Dame au Brodequin Jaune
Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242).

7.  Chicago
World's Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893.