The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 2nd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1878
Record 16 of 20

System Number: 07386
Date: [5 December 1878][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Walter Théodore Watts-Dunton[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1374
Document Type: ALS

'6 Dec 1878'[3]


Thursday night

My very dear Watts -

I do hope you will bring Mrs FitzGerald[4] here on Saturday at 3 o'clock - I have got a Nocturne[5] for her - or I think I shall have one - and the Show[6] is awfully hot!

[butterfly signature]

Do come in tomorrow at 12. o'clock -

This document is protected by copyright.


'T W D & Whistler[7] / '78'

Theodore Watts Esq.
Ivy Lodge
Werter Road
[postmark:] LONDON WC / 7 / DE 6 / 78
[postmark on verso:] LONDON. S. W. / A O / DE 6 / 78



1.  [5 December 1878]
Dated from postmark, and from day of week; 'Thursday' was the 5 December 1878.

2.  Walter Théodore Watts-Dunton
Walter Theodore Watts (later Watts-Dunton) (1832-1914), solicitor, novelist and poet [more].

3.  '6 Dec 1878'
Added in pencil, in another hand.

4.  Mrs FitzGerald
Mrs Fitzgerald, patron.

5.  Nocturne
Possibly Nocturne in Grey and Gold (YMSM 155) or Nocturne: Grey and Silver (YMSM 156). It appears that Nocturne in Grey and Gold (YMSM 155) belonged to Lucas ('Luke') Alexander Ionides (1837-1924), stockbroker and businessman [more], and that JW hoped to profit by its sale to Mrs FitzGerald (JW to L. Ionides, #02366). Alternatively, it may have been Nocturne in Blue and Gold (YMSM 154) or another of the three Nocturnes exhibited by JW at the 2nd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1878.

6.  Show
A reference to the precarious circumstances of JW's professional life rather than to a specific exhibition. He had recently won his libel case against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more], but without financial recompense.

7.  T W D & Whistler / '78
Endorsement written in another hand.

8.  '278'
Written on reverse of envelope in blue pencil, in unknown hand.