The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 4th [Exhibition], Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1894
Record 10 of 35

System Number: 06625
Date: [15/22 April 1894?][1]
Author: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: Paris
Recipient: Helen Euphrosyne Whistler[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W619
Document Type: ALS

110 Rue du Bac

My Dear Nellie,

Your letter has made me very sad - and Jimmie is going to write to you - Do go and see Mr Webb[4] - he is wonderful in the way he manages things - you know - we never have had any trouble with the bills - since we went to him - He will be sure to see some way out of it. Tell him too - your idea about the notice board on no 28 - perhaps he would [p. 2] see a way of getting the people to have one there still - are there any railings in front of it? I like the sound of Hastings better than Homburgh, dont you? Homburgh is such a way off - and you would be perfectly miserable all that way off from Mrs. Sophie[5]. Jimmie has a craze just now - about the British Isles - which will pass - He makes me feel quite patriotic sometimes, or rather he used to. I am getting used to it now - [p. 3] How would the Isle of Wight do - or some where on the South Coast - In this I have rather a selfish motive. I want Jimmie to let us take a cottage some where in a warm place - So we might cross to Southhampton. It would do him good - and he could paint the sea pieces all the people are asking for, and could be near Willie[6] - that is of course - if you [illegible] went there - [illegible] instead of to Homburgh. But does Willie like the sea? Jimmie does - that is the only country he can tolerate.

I heard from [p. 4] Mrs Sickert[7] last night. she does not want to come - evidently - and I can quite understand it if she is leaving the Vale - besides - now it would be no use, for the picture has gone in - It is very pretty - Jimmie has given her beautiful soft brown hair - no grey - ! I think she liked it - You feel she must have been exactly like the picture when she was 20 - ! It is exactly like her - a funny little fat lady - & [illegible] a very graceful [two illegible words] one rather Dutch in character.

[p. 5] There are an awful lot of blots and scratchings but the french quill pens are not half as good as the English ones.

I am so much obliged about the Japanese stuff. Its an awful bore that they have so little. We have had the room repainted. Jimmie did not like it - now it is green and white - a grey blue green. So perhaps the green crepe would go with it. Would you send me a yard to see - [p. 6] I wanted to cover the sofa and chairs with the pieces I have - Liberty[8] here, charges [illegible] 20 fr a piece! perhaps they have something similar which would work in with mine - I am posting you a large piece to see. It would not much matter if the chairs were not exactly alike in design - at a distance you really dont know what the patterns are all about.

We heard the other day that Sarasate[9] is [p. 7] quite under the thumb of Goldschmidt[10] and Madame Marx[11] - in fact, she was the attraction. She is the illegitimate daughter of Lamoreau[12], the man who runs the concerts here - The musical people here - all seem to think that Sarasate will gradually be worked out of it by Goldschmidt, who is supposed to be going to marry the lady.

Miss Bronson[13] told us the latest Venice scandal - Young Browning[14] and his wife have seperated. [sic] I dare say [p. 8] you heard that they had a model acting as a kind of house keeper. There were funny stories about her and a baby - (not Brownings) but Mrs Browning[15] liked her - and over looked all her past - &c &c - in fact she was such a superior person she took her to live with them - She was such a help to Mrs B - &c - - ! Well, then Mrs B got jealous - and asked Browning to send her away - which he refused to do - and retired to Asolo with her. That is as far as they have got - Mrs Browning remains in the palace with the [p. 9] money! He has got the lady and no money. Mrs B. says she wont divorce him - but will take him back in 20 years - perhaps I am exaggerating - it may be 12 years! She may have changed her mind by that time!

I must stop if this is to go - besides the pen wont write any more! Now - cheer up and go and see Webb - I am sure every thing will be all right - Jimmie will soon be making lots [p. 10] of money and then Willy [illegible] will have a long rest and get quite strong - and he will make lots too -

Jimmie will write tomorrow - today all the things must be in the Champs de Mars[16].

With much love from us both
Your afft


We expect Kennedy[17] before the end of this month - Jimmie will talk to him about the picture[18].

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [15/22 April 1894?]
Dated by reference to exhibition (see below).

2.  Beatrix Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

3.  Helen Whistler
Helen ('Nellie') Euphrosyne Whistler (1849-1917), née Ellen Ionides, JW's sister-in-law [more].

4.  Mr Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

5.  Mrs. Sophie
Sophia Eustratius Manuel (1853-1905), née Ionides [more].

6.  Willie
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

7.  Liberty
Liberty, Lazenby and Co., London.

8.  Sarasate
Pablo de Sarasate y Navascues (1844-1908), violinist [more].

9.  Goldschmidt
Otto Goldschmidt (1829-1907), pianist, conductor, composer and impresario [more].

10.  Mme Marx
Berthe Marx-Goldschmidt (b. 1859), musician [more].

11.  Lamoreau
Charles Lamoureux (1834-1899), violinist and conductor [more].

12.  Mrs Sickert
Ellen Melicent Sickert (1848-1914), née Cobden, writer [more], subject of Green and Violet: Portrait of Mrs Walter Sickert (YMSM 338).

13.  Miss Bronson
Edith Bronson (b. 1861), later Countess Rucellai [more].

14.  Browning
Robert Barrett Browning (1846-1912), genre painter and sculptor [more].

15.  Mrs Browning
Fanny Coddington Browning (d. 1935), wife (1887) of the painter R. B. Browning.

16.  Champs de Mars
4th Exhibition, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1894, which opened on 24 April 1894.

17.  Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

18.  picture
Possibly Green and Silver: The Devonshire Cottages (YMSM 266), which JW's brother had to sell to cover his debts.