The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 94th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1862
Record 4 of 14

System Number: 09186
Date: [9 April 1862][1]
Author: Joanna Hiffernan[2]
Place: London
Recipient: George Aloysius Lucas[3]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Call Number: 05 folder, W-Lucas file
Document Type: ALS[4]

London April [the?] 9 1862

My dear Lucas,

did you get the lath and the easeal [sic] all right that we sent you by the concierge the morning we left Paris; Jim is so very much occupied just now that he [h]as no time to write himself, therefore he desires me to write for him to you -

[p. 2] Will you kindly send by the petite vitesse[5] his easeal [sic] as soon as you can as he is in want of it. I note the W[h]ite Girl[6] has made a great sensation[7] - for and against. Some stupid painters dont understand it at all while Millais[8] for instance thinks it spleandid, [sic] [p. 3] more like Titian[9] and those old swells than anything he [h]as seen - but Jim says that for all that, p[e]r[h]aps the old duffers may refuse it altogether - If you should see Ernest[10] by chance will you ask him about Jimmie's shirt, if He has got it, and if so will He give it to Chapman[11] for Jim.

[p. 4] Write by return of post to 62 Sloane Street[12] Chelsea London.

With love from Jimmie and myself,


Remember me kindly to your little girl.

This document is protected by copyright.


Monsieur [sic]
Monsieur Lucas
41 Rue de l'arc de Triomphe
[postmark:] LONDON SW / 6 / AP 9 / 62
[postmark:] ANGL / 10 AVRIL / 62 / [ALB?] CALAIS D



1.  [9 April 1862]
Dated from the postmark, and Lucas's diary for 10 April 1862, '10. Thursday. Rec'd letter from Whistler.' Randall, Lillian, ed., George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909, Princeton, 1979, p. 133.

2.  Joanna Hiffernan/JW
Joanna Hiffernan (b. ca 1843), JW's model and mistress [more].

3.  George Lucas
George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more].

4.  ALS
Mahey, John A., 'The Letters of James McNeill Whistler to George A. Lucas,' Art Bulletin, XLIX, September 1967, pp. 247-57, no. I, at p. 249.

5.  petite vitesse
Fr., slow goods service.

6.  W[h]ite Girl
Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38).

7.  great sensation
JW submitted the picture to the Royal Academy in April 1862. Although it was rejected, it caused much excitement around the studios and when JW exhibited it at the Berners Street Gallery in June. JW boasted about it in a later letter to Lucas (#11977). It was advertised in the Athenaeum as 'Whistler's extraordinary Picture of "The Woman in White,"' a reference to the title of Wilkie Collins's popular novel The Woman in White, London, 1860, with which it was compared, although JW disputed the link (see JW to the Editor, published in Athenaeum, 5 July 1862, p. 23; #13149).

8.  Millais
John Everett Millais (1829-1896), artist [more].

9.  Titian
Tiziano ('Titian') Vecello or Vecellio (1485-1576), painter and engraver [more].

10.  Ernest
Ernest Delannoy (d. 1860/1870), art student, JW's travel companion in 1858 [more].

11.  Chapman
Probably Alfred Chapman (1839-1917), engineer and collector [more], or George R. Chapman (b. 1834), artist [more].

12.  62 Sloane Street
Residence of Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

13.  4500
This sum is written in another hand.