UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Grosvenor Gallery
Record 16 of 119

System Number: 02891
Date: [February 1878?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Charles Augustus Howell[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 11/28/1
Document Type: AL[3]


Lindsey Row
Chelsea

Dear Howell -

I intended to have written to you before to say that I had received the £50 for the two small pictures[4] you agreed upon. Also to say with reference to the two large sea pictures[5] at the [five or six illegible words] of [deleted word, illegible] itself I will [take?] from you [this instead?] [two illegible words] if you will say [three illegible words]

[JW?]


This document is protected by copyright.


Notes:

1.  [February 1878?]
JW lived at 2 Lindsey Row from February 1867 to September 1878. It was during the later years there that Howell became closely involved in JW's finances. Howell is said to have recorded in his diary buying five works from JW for £50 on 22 February 1878 (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 1, p. 167). This letter may relate to that transaction.

2.  Charles Augustus Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].

3.  AL
The original letter was stuck in the first of two albums of documents by Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more] (see #02788). It was probably removed and destroyed by JW. This transcription was made from the imprint which appears on the opposite page. This has been enhanced by photography but is still virtually indecipherable.

4.  two small pictures
Howell is said to have recorded in his diary buying five works from JW for £50 on 22 February 1878 (probably Girl with Cherry Blossom (YMSM 90), Nocturne (YMSM 114) or Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119), Study for the Head of Miss Cicely H. Alexander (YMSM 128), Nocturne: Grey and Gold - Chelsea Snow (YMSM 174), Sketch for a Portrait of Henry Greaves (YMSM 198); see Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 1, p. 167). These included Study for the Head of Miss Cicely H. Alexander (YMSM 128) which was comparatively small (47.6 x 36.8 cms). In all, many paintings by JW were acquired, or said to have been owned, by Howell, including Sketch for 'La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine' (YMSM 49), The Artist's Studio (YMSM 62), Nocturne: The Solent (YMSM 71), Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso (YMSM 73), Girl with Cherry Blossom (YMSM 90), Nocturne (YMSM 114), Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119), Study for the Head of Miss Cicely H. Alexander (YMSM 128), Nocturne: Grey and Gold - Chelsea Snow (YMSM 174), Arrangement in Black, No. 3: Sir Henry Irving as Philip II of Spain (YMSM 187), Sketch for a Portrait of Henry Greaves (YMSM 198), The Selsey Shore (YMSM 200) to Arrangement in Brown and Black: Portrait of Miss Rosa Corder (YMSM 203).

5.  two large sea pictures
Howell acquired two magnificent sea pictures, Nocturne: The Solent (YMSM 71) and Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso (YMSM 73), but they do not, as far as is known, share a common exhibition history. JW exhibited few seascapes (as opposed to Thames Nocturnes) in London, and none seem to have been acquired by Howell. Several, however, have not been identified, such as Nocturne in Blue and Gold (YMSM 154), exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1878.