Documents associated with: [Exposition], Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1861
Record 1 of 3
System Number: 05190
Date: [July/September 1859]
Recipient: Matthew White Ridley
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler R90
Document Type: ALS
Ridley my boy
'bon voyage' - here are three letters for you - Ernest Delannoy will help you to find the others - or else Fantin whom you are sure to meet at the Louvre. - Take care of yourself and write to me as soon as you can - You had better direct to Newman St. 70. - I wish [p. 2] if you could you would buy for me and send by post, the piece of music, the Quadrille of "Orphée aux Enfers", taken from the little opérette played at the "Bouffes Parisiens".
Good bye mon cher.
I can't thank you enough old fellow for the jolly way in which you helped me yesterday - I shall certainly come to Paris and see you again this Winter and probably shall not come alone - In the mean time very hard up. - must owe you 5.s. -
Courage and work hard - I fully believe that you will come out far beyond those you leave behind in England - You want no confidence in yourself - you feel color truely [sic] and so you are all right.
1. [July/September 1859]
Dated from the reference to the Newman Street studio which JW shared with George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more], from July 1859 through the early summer of 1860, and to M. W. Ridley's imminent departure from England (see Gatty, Valerie, 'Artist's Fruitful Friendship,' Country Life, CLV, no. 4001, 7 March 1974, pp. 507-08).
3. bon voyage
Fr., have a good journey. Ridley was about to depart for Paris where, thanks to JW's introduction, he would meet Fantin-Latour.
4. three letters
Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), artist [more]. Fantin and Ridley became close friends, and Fantin painted a portrait of Ridley which was exhibited at the Salon in 1861 (cat. no. 1059, 'Etude d'après nature'; see Fantin-Latour, Mme, Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l'oeuvre complète, 1849-1904, Paris, 1911, cat. no. 168, H. Fantin-Latour, Portrait du peintre anglais Ridley (FL.168) (z19).
JW had met Fantin in the Louvre, where they were both copying paintings, a practise which Fantin continued as a useful source of income. For instance, H. Fantin-Latour, Copy after The Wedding at Cana, by Paolo Veronese, 1863 (FL.110) (z18), was painted for Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], who had also been introduced by JW to Fantin (see Fantin-Latour, Mme, Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l'oeuvre complète, 1849-1904, Paris, 1911, cat. nos. 110 and 164).
8. Newman St. 70
Whistler shared a studio with George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more], at 70 Newman Street, London, from July 1859 through the early summer of 1860.
A square dance popular at the Court of Napoléon I in the early nineteenth century. Double underlined.
10. Orphée aux Enfers
A reference to Orpheus in the Underworld, an operatic work by the Franco-German composer Jacques Offenbach. It was first performed in Paris in 1858, and became immensely popular.
12. Bouffes Parisiens
Opera house in Paris.
13. I can't...
The rest of the text is written using another pen.
JW went to Paris in October 1859.
15. Courage ... all right.
This paragraph was written upside-down to the main text at the top of p. 1.