The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: II Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte della Città di Venezia,Venice, 1897
Record 7 of 8

System Number: 05941
Date: [May/12 August 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Filippo Grimani[2]
Place: Venice
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler V30
Document Type: ALdS[3]


To his Excellency the Mayor of Venice -

Sir -

I have long entertained the disire [sic] to offer to the City of Venice the few proofs of etchings[5] in which I had attempted to render though but feebly, the sentiment of beauty rare romance pervading that its most marvellous architecture -

This I am now encouraged to do, thanks to Signor Boldinini's[6] [sic] kind assurance promise that you Sir, are willing to receive the works as an assurance of my appreciation [p. 2] of the great courtesy extended to me officially, and as an a slight acknowledgement of the the honour I feel it to be of having my name officially on the list of my distinguished confreres upon the Committee[7] of the International Exhibition -

May I beg therefore that you will officially accept those rare etchings of your "Venice the beautiful" for the Gallery -

and believe me I have the honour to be,
Sir -
Your obt. Sert

J McNeill Whistler

2 110. Rue du Bac - Paris.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [May/12 August 1897]
Dated by the address and from Grimani's reply, 15 August 1897, #05942.

2.  Filippo Grimani
Comte Filippo Grimani (1850-1921), Mayor of Venice, President of the Internation Art Exhibition of the City of Venice [more].

3.  ALdS
Written on paper with a mourning border.

4.  '1897?'
Inserted in pencil, in another hand.

5.  etchings
The gift to the International Museum of Modern Art of the City of Venice included etchings from Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5) or A Set of twenty-six etchings of Venice, 1886 (the second 'Venice set') (K.196-216, 233-237). (excat 6). JW first exhibited them at the 2nd Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte della Città di Venezia,Venice, 1897, which opened on 22 April. However, they were listed in the second edition of the catalogue only as 'nine etchings' and their full identity has not yet been clarified (see Chiara Rabitti, 'Whistler and the Venice Exhibition' in James McNeill Whistler: The Venetian Etchings/Le Acqueforti Veneziane, exh. cat., Fondazione Querini Stampalia, London 2001, pp. 67-68).

6.  Signor Boldinini's
Giovanni Boldini (1845-1931), portrait painter and etcher [more].

7.  Committee
JW accepted an invitation to join the Sponsoring Committee of the Exhibition in February 1896 but the delay in his acceptance due to the death of his wife Beatrix in May meant that he was eventually excluded (op. cit., Rabitti, pp. 64-65).