The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', H. Wunderlich and Co., New York, 1889
Record 15 of 32

System Number: 07900
Date: [December 1888?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Aglaia Coronio[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/21/1
Document Type: ALS

Dear Madame Coronio -

I am too sorry for anything about this matter[3], and I assure you that I only wish I could before now have given you what you like, and what I certainly mean you to have -

Now, monstrous as it may seem, as an assertion, it is nevertheless a simple [p. 2] fact that there was no weather whatever all last summer for painting you the Thames picture proposed -

I had arranged to do out of door work for an Exhibition in New York[4] to be held in "the fall", and was obliged to give it up because of the abominable hidiousness and East wind that clung to the country all through the calendar! -

However I am most anxious to make all this right - and trust that I may yet please you - meanwhile if there be any thing, dear Madame Coronio, that you would like to suggest yourself, why not, I should be so glad -

I think I must come down and see you and have a talk with you - may I?

and believe Always sincerely

J McN. Whistler

Tower House. Tite Street

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [December 1888?]
Dated from the address (used from about May 1888 to February 1890), the reference to 'last summer' and to an exhibition, the known picture history and a related letter from JW to A. Coronio (#00691).

2.  Aglaia Coronio
Aglaia Coronio (1834-1906), née Ionides, wife of George Coronio [more].

3.  this matter
This concerned three pictures owned by Aglaia Coronio and her husband Theodore Ioannis ('John') Coronio (1827-1903), collector, husband of Aglaia Ionides [more]. The first, A Girl by a Shelf (YMSM 48), was purchased directly from JW (possibly during the 1870s) but JW, wishing to improve the painting, returned it to the studio. He eventually substituted Nocturne in Black and Gold: Entrance to Southampton Water (YMSM 179) for it. However, the Coronios disliked the picture so much that JW repaid them the purchase money for the original picture. Some time later, he wrote offering 'another Thames picture or landscape of any kind' (#00691). But a fragment of a letter written by Aglaia Coronio (#11034) indicates that she threatened to send someone for 'my beautiful picture' possibly a reference to A Girl by a Shelf (YMSM 48). In the end she received another substitute, Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach (YMSM 46), which she later sold to America.

4.  Exhibition in New York
JW had intended to have an exhibition and lecture tour, but it was postponed and then abandoned. Instead, a large-scale show of JW's work, 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', H. Wunderlich and Co., New York, 1889, opened in March 1889.