UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Flemish Gallery
Record 8 of 49

System Number: 01621
Date: [September 1874/July 1875?][1]
Author: JW
Place: Liverpool[2]
Recipient: Cyril Flower[3]
Place: [London?]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler F553
Document Type: ALS


[embossed monogram:] 'FRL'

Speke Hall - near Liverpool -

Thursday -

My dear Flower -

Among all the delightful people I used to see on your plantation and at the 'Hotel Flower' in town - there was one who especially fascinated me -

Lady Elizabeth Romilly[4] I always remember as one of the most charming people it was ever my happiness to meet - so kind - so natural - and with a courtesy so sweet, that the manner one has been told was peculiar to the Faubourg St. Germain[5] in the finest days of the Vielle [sic] Roche[6], must have been like that! -

[p. 2] She came one morning to my Gallery[7] and seemed so much interested in what was there - pointing out with such right instinct the particular works she sympathized with - not only among the paintings - but the drawings and sketches - that the painter was simply enchanted and has never forgotten it - I hope one of these days you will take me with you to call upon her - Meanwhile could you not present my compliments to Lady Romilly and say from me how greatly pleased I should be if she cared to go some afternoon to look at the Nocturne[8]? -

It is perhaps but little to show for the trouble - and unhappily the Mother[9] is too ill to receive her -

Still I should like to show her her to see[10] this picture, as she might be pleased with it and I may so recall myself not unfavorably to her memory -

I have received your note mon cher - but you will have to write me a line after you have looked at the Nocturne -

I shall be in town soon -

En attendant
Ever Yours

J A McN. Whistler -


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Notes:

1.  [September 1874/July 1875?]
This must date from after JW's first solo exhibition at the Flemish Gallery in June 1874 but before his mother left to live in Hastings in August 1875. Merrill dates it 1875 (Merrill, Linda, The Peacock Room. A Cultural Biography, New Haven and London, 1998, pp. 208-09).

2.  Cyril Flower
Cyril Flower (1843-1907), barrister, Liberal MP, 1st Baron Battersea [more]. Flower bought Variations in Pink and Grey: Chelsea (YMSM 105) at some time after 1873.

3.  Liverpool
Speke Hall, near Liverpool, was the home of Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more], where JW was a guest from September 1874 (see #09605).

4.  Lady Elizabeth Romilly
Lady Elizabeth Romilly (1820-1892), wife of Col. F. Romilly [more]. JW's letter to her, presumably following up this approach, is #05350.

5.  Faubourg St. Germain
A fashionable area on the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris.

6.  Vielle Roche
Possibly the Café de la Rochefoucault, known as 'La Roche' and frequented by the Impressionists. It was on the corner of the Rue de la Rochefoucault and the rue Notre Dame de Lorette. It was an area well known to JW, who, many years later, did an etching of the Rue de la Rochefoucault (K.419).

7.  Gallery
Mr Whistler's Exhibition, Flemish Gallery, Pall Mall, London, 1874.

8.  Nocturne
Probably Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Bognor (YMSM 100) (see Merrill, Linda, The Peacock Room. A Cultural Biography, New Haven and London, 1998, pp. 208-09).

9.  Mother
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more]. On 8 August 1875 she moved to Hastings for her health.

10.  her to see
Written on top of deleted words.