The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1900
Record 19 of 41

System Number: 00993
Date: 14 June 1900
Author: Théodore Duret[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler D199
Document Type: ALS[2]

4 rue Vignon

14 Juin 1900

Mon cher Whistler

Je vous renvoie le journal demandé.

Que faites vous à Londres, en ce moment, avec vos sentiments pro-boers[3]? Je m'attends à chaque instant à apprendre que vous avez été lynché [p. 2] et pendu haut et court à un lamp post.

Avez vous vu, à l'exposition[4] ici, les bijoux de Lalique[5] et l'es [sic] robes des grandes couturières? Voila du parisianisme!

Revenez nous donc. [p. 3] Vos deux tableaux[6] sont naturellement combattus, par les bons petits camarades. On me dit: mais pourquoi Whistler n'a-t-il pas exposé ceci, cela, c'est-à-dire des oeuvres peintes il y a [p. 4] dix ou quinze ans? C'est toujours la même chose. Les gens aiment à être trainés en omnibus.

A bientôt, je l'espère, et mille amitiés.

Théodore Duret

This document is protected by copyright.


My dear Whistler

Here is the newspaper you requested.

What are you doing in London now, with your pro-boer opinions? I am expecting to hear at any moment that you have been lynched [p. 2] and hung high and dry from a lamp post.

Have you seen, the Lalique jewellery and the gowns of the fashion house at the exhibition here? There is parisianism for you!

So come back to us. [p. 3] Your two pictures have naturally been attacked by the good little comrades. I am asked: why hasn't Whistler exhibited this, that, in other words works painted ten or fifteen years ago? It is always the same thing. People like being carried by omnibus.

I hope to see you soon and very best wishes

Theodore Duret


1.  Théodore Duret
Théodore Duret (1838-1927), art critic and collector [more].

2.  ALS
This letter was published in MacDonald, Margaret F., and Joy Newton, 'Correspondence Duret-Whistler,' Gazette des Beaux-Arts, November 1987, pp. 150-64, at p. 159.

3.  pro-boers
During the Boer War, JW supported the Boers, in theory, against the British.

4.  l'exposition
Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1900.

5.  Lalique
René Lalique (1860-1945), jeweller, glassmaker and designer [more].

6.  deux tableaux
Mother of Pearl and Silver: The Andalusian (YMSM 378) and Brown and Gold (YMSM 440).