The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 63rd Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1893-1894
Record 7 of 7

System Number: 00521
Date: [19 September 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: Lyme Regis
Recipient: Janey Sevilla Campbell[2]
Place: [Kingston on Thames?]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C22
Document Type: ALdS

Royal Lion Hotel - Lyme Regis
Dorset -

My dear Lady Archie -

We were delighted to hear from you again - and of course I meant to write in return at once - but Trixie[3] has been far from well and all the joy went out of the place with her health and good spirits! -

She is better now though and sends you her love -

We have been wandering and travelling [p. 2] about at the instigation of doctors - and finally [look?] up again in this land, that I really thought we had pretty well turned our backs upon forever!! -

Paris is fascinating! simply -

Now - tout vient à point à qui sait attendre[4]! - which has no improper allusion to this little note - but only, dear Lady Archie, to the unlooked for acknowledgement after all these years of the portrait[5] so long taboed [sic] by the Clan! - With the sensitiveness of the gentle artist, upon the verdict of the Duke[6], if you remember, I immediately withdrew your name, and the picture was exhibited under the title of "Le Brodequin jaune" in Paris. Under this name, and not as the Portrait of the Lady Archibald Campbell, it brought the painter his red Ribbon. - his gold medal in Münich[7] [sic], and other distinctions - Finally under the name Alias of the "Yellow Buskin" it was bought by the Academy of Philadelphia for twelve hundred guineas -

And on the walls of that National Institution in a place of honour actually hangs the pictured likeness of the fair Lady of Coombe, passing to posterity only as the beautiful unknown with the golden shoe! -

So much for history in these days, when one lives well into the posthumous recognition of ones work! -

I have wired to Mr. Thomson[8] begging him to send you authorization for the reproduction of the photograph - with its orthodox Catalogued title. -

With kindest messages from us both, Always devotedly

J McNeill Whistler

Do you ever see anything of little Watts[9] nowadays? -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [September 1895]
Dated by reference to JW's telegraph to D. C. Thomson, [19 September 1895], #08372.

2.  Janey Sevilla Campbell
Janey Sevilla Campbell (ca 1846 - d.1923), née Callander, Lady Archibald Campbell [more].

3.  Trixie
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She had cancer.

4.  tout vient à point à qui sait attendre
Fr., everything comes to those who wait.

5.  portrait
Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242), bought for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, having been awarded the gold medal at the 63rd Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1893-1894.

6.  Duke
Lord George Douglas Campbell (1823-1900), 8th Duke of Argyll [more].

7.  Münich
3rd Internationale Kunst-Austellung, Munich, 1888.

8.  Mr. Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

9.  Watts
Walter Theodore Watts (later Watts-Dunton) (1832-1914), solicitor, novelist and poet [more].