The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: 3rd Exhibition, Society of Portrait Painters, London, 1893
Record 8 of 8

System Number: 07010
Date: [14 June/July 1893?][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: William McNeill Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W999
Document Type: ALS

110. Rue du Bac. Paris -

My dear Willie -

how are you? . .

We are not much of correspondents - are we! -

Are you going to Hombourg[3] this summer - and when? If you do, I suppose you will pass through Paris, both on your way there & back -

This is one of the letters I had [p. 2] begun for Wimpole Street[4]! - and in the "midst of things" it was put down - for the moment - Now we have had Nellie's[5] - so it occurs to me to let this greet you both - and be from us both[6]! -

Have you seen Mr Webb[7]? He will tell you all about his visit here - I think he enjoyed himself - You ought to get him to come and dine with you and tell you all about it -

I suppose London must be terrible at this moment with the hard sun and the business of this wedding[8]!

What we are going to do ourselves I dont quite know - but hope some how or other to get a breath of sea air[9] at some time! Perhaps we may in that way get over to London for a moment and have a peep at you. However in a little while we will know - What do you think of Sir George? & Lady Betty[10]!! - By the way à propos of curious cases, how on earth could you ever have that shocking little person Nettie Carpenter[11] back again! - after the horrible way she behaved in your house I wonder you could ever allow her or her man to come inside the door again! - She will be sure to end in the divorce court and you & Nellie will be dragged in as witnesses! - ainsi garre[12]!! -

I am awfully sorry about the studio picture[13] [p. 3] not selling yet - It has been talked enough about - I shall try my best to see if anything can be done at a less price - what do you think? -

We hear that Walter Sickert[14] is not looking well - what is the matter with him? Do you know? -

About your article[15] - I am warmly of Dr Bruce's[16] opinion that it should be published as a book - and if it is a bother about the expense, I might manage that part for you through some of my publishing or printing people - Write & tell me about - and now this must go - with love to both from us both

Always affcty Yours

J McN Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  14 June/July 1893?
Dated from references to Royal wedding and George Henry Lewis (see below).

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

3.  Hombourg
The Whistlers seem to have been in Homburg sometime in September (see envelope addressed to W. McN. Whistler, 19 September 1893, #07012).

4.  Wimpole Street
JW's brother lived at 17 Wimpole Street, Cavendish Square, W.

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

6.  us both
JW and Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

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

8.  wedding
This probably relates to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York. In 1891 Princess Mary of Teck became engaged to Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence (elder son of the Prince of Wales). However, he died a few weeks before the wedding was due to take place. Subsequently, she became engaged to the Duke's younger brother, George, Duke of York (1865-1936), later George IV (1911) [more]. They were married on 6 July 1893 in the Chapel Royal, St. James Palace.

9.  sea air
In July the Whistlers visited Brittany and the Côtes-du-Nord; JW's paintings there included three painted at sea: Violet and Silver: A Deep Sea (YMSM 411), Dark Blue and Silver (YMSM 412) and Violet and Blue: Among the Rollers (YMSM 413).

10.  Sir George? & Lady Betty
Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more], and Elisabeth Lewis (1844-1931), née Eberstadt, wife of G. H. Lewis [more]. Lewis was knighted in 1893 (see his letter to JW, 6 June 1893, #02560).

11.  Nettie Carpenter
Nettie Carpenter (later Mrs Stearn), virtuoso violinist [more]. She had at one time been thrown out of their house and JW had refused to receive her in Paris. Her name has been scratched out in pencil at some later date. See also JW to H. Whistler, #06726, #06720 and #06728.

12.  ainsi garre
Fr., so beware!

13.  studio picture
Whistler in his Studio (YMSM 63), had been on show at 3rd Exhibition, Society of Portrait Painters, London, 1893, but was not sold until 1896.

14.  Walter Sickert
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

15.  your article
JW had complimented his brother on completing his 'famous paper', #11653.

16.  Dr Bruce's
Dr Bruce, physician, an acquaintance of W. McN. Whistler.