The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Etchings of Venice, The Fine Art Society, London, 1880
Record 12 of 15

System Number: 11622
Date: [22/25 March 1881][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Otto Henry Bacher[2]
Place: [Florence]
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 177b
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALS[3]

'1880 / no 1 - / 177'

Bacher old chap! you see the Madam has been trying to make it all right for me with you fellows - and I hope you will all be induced to forgive my apparent neglect - but ever since I got back here I have been so absolutely occupied - what with working and fighting! - and you know how I like both! - I wish you could only be here to see the fun! -

Of course I manage to thrash them all round - and the poor devil Critics, and not a few of the painter chaps too, are so awfully angry - You have no idea of the success of the etchings and Pastels[4] - but better still you have no idea of their real beauty - especially the etchings - If you could see the lovely proofs I have pulled -

However I hope to bring a set out with me, when I come to pay you all a visit - Meanwhile I am filling a book with extracts from the papers for you and it will follow this letter almost directly - I enclose five pounds - this ought to make something like 130 lira and I believe I owe you 68. - but if you will let me buy one or two of your etchings for the remainder I shall be delighted and will chose [sic] the proof when I come - I have not forgotten my promise to send you the Pool and Amsterdam[5] [p. 2] but you must write me a line first to say that this has reached you safely - Love to all the Boys and tell the Old man, "dear old thing" that I have seen the lovely and charming Miss Blood[6]! - I quite sympathize with him in his admiration - but I fancy he must resign himself to general despair and drink - or hard work - some sort of satisfaction - for she is going to marry - !! -

Lord Colin Campbell[7] is the man Duvenecque [sic] 'Duveneck[8]' will have to kill - and it was in the box of her future brother in law, Lord Archie[9], that I met the very handsome and exceedingly amiable lady - She spoke of "the Boys" and described to me her portrait with great admiration - So there now - I give you all the latest news - and Goodbye to all of you -

Always yours

J A McN. Whistler -

I think upon the whole you had better direct your answer to - 28 Wimpole[10] no it is all right -

76 Alderney Street
Warwick Square
London -

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1.  [22/25 March 1881]
Maud Franklin had written to Bacher on 21 March 1881 (#11621). This letter is written as a continuation of her letter and was sent with hers on 25 March.

2.  Otto Henry Bacher
Otto Henry Bacher (1856-1909), book illustrator and etcher [more].

3.  ALS
Published, with minor changes, in Bacher, Otto Henry, With Whistler in Venice, New York, 1908, pp. 157-58. The notes at the top of p. 1 were added later in another hand.

4.  etchings and pastels
They had recently been shown at Etchings of Venice, The Fine Art Society, London, 1880, and Venice Pastels, The Fine Art Society, London, 1881.

5.  Lord Colin Campbell
Lord Colin Campbell (1853-1895), fifth son of the 8th Duke of Argyll [more].

6.  Duveneck
Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), painter, etcher and art teacher [more]; whose art students were referred to as the 'Duveneck Boys' (see #11621). 'Duveneck' is written in another hand over 'Duvenecque'.

7.  Lord Archie
Lord Archibald Campbell (1846-1913), second son of the 8th Duke of Argyll, army officer, writer and businessman [more].

8.  Amsterdam
Amsterdam from the Tolhuis (K.91).

9.  Miss Blood
Gertrude Elizabeth Campbell (1857-1911), née Blood, Lady Colin Campbell, writer, art critic and amateur artist [more], who posed to JW for Harmony in White and Ivory: Portrait of Lady Colin Campbell (YMSM 354). She was the patron of Duveneck (she had commissioned a portrait) and was a close friend of Elizabeth Otis Lyman Boott (1846-1888), artist, later Mrs F. Duveneck [more].

10.  28 Wimpole
The address of William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more]; JW was provided by the Fine Art Society with a printing workshop in Alderney Street for printing Mr Whistler's Etchings of Venice, 1880 (the first 'Venice Set') (K. 183-189, 191-195). (excat 5).