The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 63rd Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1893-1894
Record 6 of 7

System Number: 00520
Date: [19 September 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Lyme Regis]
Recipient: Janey Sevilla Campbell[2]
Place: [Kingston on Thames]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C21
Document Type: ALd

110. Rue du Bac - Paris -

My dear Lady Archie -

"Tout arrive à point à qui sait attendre[3]"! - which does not at all improperly hint at your having waited for this little note - but rather that I, after these years, have not waited in vain for the moment when my picture[4] should be claimed as the portrait of the grande dame de par le monde[5], who takes her place in the nations book of Beauty!

For at first you would none of it! - The Duke's[6] opinion was quoted as beyond all question! - [p. 2] and it went forth irrevocably that the Clan disclaimed repudiated the painting - That the family pride had been pained in the painting, wherin in that the lady Archibald had been invested by the vulgarity of the painter with a jaunty sauciness to be found only in the pertness of a petite Bourgeoise unknown to a daughter of their House - and intolerable to the Argyles -

severing all link ....[7]

Whereupon if you remember, with delicacy characteristic of the gentle Artist, I at once withdrew the name from the work, and effaced the picture ceasing to be a portrait went forth as the "Brodequin Jaune" - under which title only was it known at Exposition Universelle[8], where, incognito, the lady received the first Gold Medal in Paris -

In Münich[9] she brought back the ribbon of St Michael and now known as the Yellow Buskin she hangs on the walls of the Nation Philadelphia Art Academy[10] whose directors being bought the unknown payed 1200 or 1500 gs for the outcast and highly disapproved person!

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1.  [19 September 1895]
Despite the address being given as Paris, this draft must have been written when JW was in Lyme Regis, at the same date as #00521.

2.  Janey Sevilla Campbell
Janey Sevilla Campbell (ca 1846 - d.1923), née Callander, Lady Archibald Campbell [more].

3.  Tout arrive à point à qui sait attendre
Fr., everything comes to one who waits.

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

5.  grande dame de par le monde
Fr., the great lady of the world.

6.  Duke's
Lord George Douglas Campbell (1823-1900), 8th Duke of Argyll [more]; it is said that the Argylls rejected the painting, saying that the woman looked like a prostitute encouraging a hesitant client.

7.  severing all link ....
Added in the left margin.

8.  Exposition Universelle
Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1889.

9.  Münich
3rd Internationale Kunst-Austellung, Munich, 1888.

10.  Academy
Exhibited at the 63rd Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1893-1894, where it was awarded the Temple Gold Medal, it was eventually bought for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in November 1895.