UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Musée du Louvre
Record 18 of 31

System Number: 01086
Date: 16 November 1868
Author: Henri Fantin-Latour[1]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F17
Document Type: ALS


16 Nov - - 1868.

Voila presque deux mois que je t'ai envoyé les deux natures mortes[2] et je n'ai rien su depuis - sont elles arrivées, ont elles plu, ni lettre de toi, ni argent de l'Acheteur - j'ai attendu toujours, mais enfin je sais bien qu'il faut venir t'en parler, qu'est ce qu'il y a[.] Est ce que c'est comme Spartali[3], un Amateur a qui cela ne plait pas. je comprends cela, rien ne m'etonne dans les Rapports des Amateurs de Peinture et les peintres, mais pourquoi ne pas me l'ecrire pourquoi me laisse tu attendre tu sais combien cela est terrible - l'attente de l'argent[.] Fallait faire écrire l'individu pourquoi ne pas m'avoir fait connaitre l'adresse de l'Amateur, te debarasser de tout cela, car cela me gêne bien [p. 2] de t'embeter de mes affaires[.] Je ne comprends rien a tout cela[.] tu n'est peut être pas Londres? ou l'Amateur? tu devrais bien m'écrire et le plus tot possible

Du reste c'est etonnant je ne comprends rien a cela, je n'ai plus de nouvelles d'Angleterre personne même Edwards[4] il est vrai qu'il réussit dit on.

Ici c'est la même chose il y a un refroidissement général - c'est bien curieux Je voudrais en causer mais je ne suis pas en train[.] Tu n'est pas aimable avec moi cela est bien vrai, je n'ai pas pu t'arracher une lettre depuis je ne sais combien de temps, tu ne parle plus de ton travail tu ne viens plus ici, tu est prodigieusement changé, moi qui reste dans mon trou je m'aperçois du changement autour de moi ce serait attristant [p. 3] si la vie Artistique n'était pas si dure et si personnelle, elle est devenu pour chacun de nous un Isoloir. Je vois tout le monde se retirer de tout - quand je vois des nouvelles de Londres Je n'ai jamais rien [entendu] dire de toi - J'ai rencontrer ces jours derniers Lucas[5] qui n'avait pas de Nouvelles de toi. Legros[6] fait circuler Ici des articles de journaux lui parait s'agiter. Haden[7] a passer ici je ne l'ai pas vu par conséquent. Je n'ai rien d'autres a te dire je travaille au Louvre[8] oh. Bonheur!

ecris moi donc
Adieu

H Fantin la Tour

Onze -
11, Rue des Sts. Pères -


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

It is now almost two months since I sent you the two still lifes and I have heard nothing since - did they arrive - did you like them - neither a letter from you, nor money from the Buyer - I carried on waiting, but now I realize that I have to talk to you about them. what is going on. Is it like Spartali, a Collector who does not like them? I understand that, nothing surprises me in relations between Art Collectors and painters, but why not write to tell me so why do you leave me waiting you know how awful it is - waiting for money[.] You ought to have made the individual in question write why did you not let me know the address of the Collector, relieve yourself of all that, for it really bothers me [p. 2] to pester you with my concerns[.] I do not understand any of this[.] perhaps you are not in London? Or the Collector? You really ought to write to me and as soon as possible

In any case it is astonishing[.] I cannot make any sense of it, I have no news from England nobody [not] even Edwards [.] they say he is really doing well.

Here likewise people have become more distant - most strange I would like to talk about it but I am not in good spirits[.] You have not been very friendly towards me that much is true, I have not been able to extract a letter from you for goodness knows how long, you no longer talk of your work you no longer come here, you have changed astonishingly, As one who stays hidden away I take in the changes around me it would be saddening [p. 3] if Artistic life were not so hard and so private, each of us has ended up in isolation because of it. I see everyone withdrawing from everything - when I see news from London I never see you mentioned - I saw Lucas in the past few days who had not had heard from you. Legros is circulating newspaper articles Here, he seems to be busy. Haden came here, I did not see him therefore. I have nothing else to tell you I am working at the Louvre oh. Joy!

So write to me
Farewell

H Fantin la Tour
Eleven -
11, Rue des Sts. Pères -


Notes:

1.  Henri Fantin-Latour
Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), artist [more].

2.  natures mortes
H. Fantin-Latour, Fruit and Flowers (FL.288) (z145) (private collection, Boston) and a second with the same title H. Fantin-Latour, Fruit and Flowers (FL.289) (z146). The paintings were both received by JW, who praised them enthusiastically in his letter of 30 September 1868 (#11983), which he did not complete until 22 November, presumably when he received Fantin-Latour's letter.

3.  Spartali
Michael Spartali (1819-1914), Greek consul in London [more]. In 1866 Fantin-Latour received a commission from Spartali for four still-lifes. Alphonse Legros made Spartali think that the still-lifes were all alike: when the four works arrived, Spartali accepted and paid for only two of them. One of these is H. Fantin-Latour, Fleurs de printemps, pommes et poires (FL.288) (z120) (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; F.288 as 'Nature morte'). Fantin offered to replace the two rejected still-lifes but this offer was not accepted, nor was he paid until Dilberoglue bought the two rejected works (see Fantin Latour to JW, 21 February 1867, #01084; and letters from E. Edwards to FL, March and May 1867, and FL to Edwards, 25 June 1867, cited in Druick, Douglas and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1982, cat. no. 36.

4.  Edwards
Edwin Edwards (1823-1879), lawyer, painter and etcher [more].

5.  Lucas
George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more].

6.  Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more].

7.  Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

8.  Louvre
Two copies after Veronese were completed by Fantin-Latour in 1869, H. Fantin-Latour, Copy after L'évanouissment d'Esther devant Ahasuéras, by Paolo Veronese (FL.314) (z142) and H. Fantin-Latour, Copy after 'Christ carrying the cross', by Paolo Veronese (FL.315) (z143).