UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Société des Aquafortistes
Record 5 of 5

System Number: 08037
Date: [September 1865][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Henri Fantin-Latour[2]
Place:
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/33/17
Document Type: ALS


'14[3]'

7. Lindsey Row.
Old Battersea bridge
Chelsea. London

Le fond de tout ceci mon cher Fantin est tout simplement manque d'argent!

Voila deux mois où je n'ai pas pu mettre la main sur une somme assez grande pour venir te voir avec! - et en attendant le jour où je pourais partir j'ai été dans une fièvre d'inquiètude, et d'excitation - Je voulais être avec toi dans ton succes - te voir en fin prendre la place qu'on te doit depuis si long temps à Paris - je pensais avec bonheur à tout ce que nous aurions a nous dire, a ces bonnes longues conversations le soir où nous nous entendons si intimement - tu as du avoir grand besoin de me causer pendant le salon - car je suis heureux de penser que nous sommes necessaire l'un à l'autre pour cette vraie echange de sympathie que nous [p. 2] ne pouvons pas trouver chez avec d'autres. Au moins moi je n'éprouve jamais cette entière confiance dans la sympathie de n'importe qui, en dehors de toi - Je viens de voir aujourdhui par hasard ta copie des Noces chez Haden[4] - il y avait longtemps, comme tu le sais - C'était une grande jouissance - c'est bien beau! Clair et pure de couleur! superbe! - Et bien là devant je pensais à ton "Homage à De la Croix[5]" et je voyais le grand pas que tu as fait! Il y a dans cette dernière toile (et l'impression m'est bien resté) outre le belles qualités des Noces une simplicité et largeur et une personalité bien frappante - Comme ca aurait été charmant pour nous deux d'aller ensemble au salon voir ton tableau! l'effet que cela devait produire parmi les autres peintures a du être quelquechose d'écrasant! Je ne t'ai pas jusquà present demandé les articles des journaux là dessus, car j'esperais les lire avec toi - J'ai fait une petite collection[6] des miens que je t'apporte - car [p. 3] enfin je quitte Londres demain - C'est à dire je dois mener ma mère[7] qui est d'une tres faible santé, aux eaux en Allemagne pour se retablir, et alors venir te réjoindre à Paris, et alors tu me racompagneras à Londres comme tu m'as promis! ca va être charmant - ainsi d'ici 5 ou 6 jours j'espere te voir!

Haden est à Paris et doit être en train de faire pas mal de pousière - Delatre Cadart Burty Lalane[8] etc. etc.! mais tout ca ne conte plus! - peutêtre va-t-il faire la blague de vouloir t'acheter ton tableau mais si il n'est pas déja vendu à Gambart[9], ne l'ecoute point ou plutot demandes lui de [suivre?] 300. livres sterling, ce qui fait 7500 fs. car içi te pourais tres possiblement le vendre a M. Winans[10]. - Dilberoglou[11] me prie de te dire, de ne pas te gener avec lui, et que si au lieu de lui faire une copie, tu prefère lui faire un tableau original, il en serait tout aussi content - de même son beaufrère - de sorte que si tu na rien commencé au Louvre, tu peux lui faire une toile [p. 4] ici - Alphonse[12] marche bien et son succes à Londres est assuré - Moi même j'ai cette année le plus beau success qu'on m'ait accordé içi o et on m'achetera maintenant en m'offrant trois fois le prix que je demandais l'année dernière - J'ai revue ma chinoise[13] à l'academie hier - je sais que tu aimeras bien cela. - . J'ai beaucoup à te dire, mais voilà minuit passé et je suis brisé de fatigue - une journée de courses et de preparatifs pour le voyage - A bientôt - J'ai un grand projet à te comuniquer lorsque je te verai - En passant par la rue de Rivoli dis a la Japonaise[14] de me mettre de côté tous les costumes -

Whistler -


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

The cause of all this my dear Fantin is quite simply lack of money!

It is two months since I have been able to put my hand on a large enough sum to come and see you with! - and waiting for the day when I could leave I have been in a fever of restlessness and excitement - I wanted to be with you in your success - to see you at last take the place that has been owing to you for so long in Paris - I was thinking with happiness of all that we would have to say to each other, of those good long conversations in the evening when we understand each other so closely - you must have needed to talk to me a great deal during the Salon - as I am happy to think that we are necessary to each other for this true exchange of sympathy that we [p. 2] cannot find in other people. I at least can never find that entire confidence in the sympathy of anybody else, except you - Today I happen to have seen by chance your copy of the Wedding at Haden's - it has been a long time, as you know - It was such a pleasure - it's really beautiful! Light and pure in colour! Superb! - Well while looking at it I thought of your "Hommage to Delacroix" and I could see the great advance that you have made! In this last canvas (and the impression is still with me) there is, apart from the fine qualities of the Wedding, a simplicity and breadth and a really striking personality - How charming it would have been for the two of us to go together to see your picture at the Salon! The effect that it must have produced among the other paintings must have been overwhelming! Up until now I have not asked you for the newspaper articles on it, as I was hoping to read them with you - I have made a little collection of mine which I am bringing for you - as [p. 3] at last I am leaving London tomorrow - That's to say I am to take my mother who is in very poor health, to the spas in Germany to recover her strength, and then come to join you in Paris, and then you will come back with me to London as you have promised! that will be charming - so in 5 or 6 days from now I hope to see you!

Haden is in Paris and must be busy stirring up a lot of dust - Delatre Cadart Burty Lalane etc. etc! but none of that counts any more! - perhaps he will pretend to want to buy your picture from you, but if it has not already been sold to Gambart, don't listen to him or rather ask him to [offer more than?] 300 pounds, which is 7500 fs as you could very possibly sell it here to Mr Winans. - Dilberoglou asks me to tell you not to put yourself out for him, and that if instead of making a copy for him, you prefer to do an original picture, he would be just as happy - the same for his brother-in-law - so that if you have not started anything in the Louvre, you can do a canvas for him [p. 4] here - Alphonse is doing well and his success in London is assured - I have myself this year had the finest success that has been given to me here and to buy my works now they will be offering three times the price I was asking last year - I saw my Chinese woman at the Academy again yesterday - I know that you would like it. - . I have a great deal to say to you, but it is past midnight and I am overcome with tiredness - a day of errands and preparations for the journey - I'll write soon - I have a big project to talk to you about when I see you - When you go by the Rue de Rivoli tell the Japanese woman to put all the costumes on one side for me -

Whistler


Notes:

1.  [September 1865]
Dated by reference to trip to Germany (see below).

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

3.  14
Written in another hand.

4.  copie des Noces chez Haden
Fantin-Latour's copy after Paolo Veronese, The Wedding at Cana, 1563 (z7)(H. Fantin-Latour, Copy after The Wedding at Cana, by Paolo Veronese (FL.164) (z5), Musée du Louvre, Paris), was bought by Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

5.  Homage à De la Croix
H. Fantin-Latour, Hommage à Eugène Delacroix (FL.227) (z100) (Musée du Louvre) was exhibited at the Salon in 1864 (see Druick, Douglas and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1982, pp. 165-178, repr. p. 173).

6.  collection
JW kept press-cutting books from this time on, most of which are in Glasgow University Library.

7.  mère
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more], who was taken by JW and his brother William to the baths at Coblenz in September 1865.

8.  Delatre Cadart Burty Lalane
Auguste Delâtre (1822-1907), printer [more]; Alfred Cadart (1828-1875), dealer and print publisher [more]; Philippe Burty (1830-1890), critic [more]; and Maxime Lalanne (1822-1886), designer and etcher [more]. Haden was well-established as an etcher by this date, and may have been discussing the plans of the 'Société des Acquafortistes'.

9.  Gambart
Ernest Gambart (1814-1902), of Ernest Gambart and Co., wholesale printsellers [more], bought H. Fantin-Latour, Hommage à Eugène Delacroix (FL.227) (z100) for 2000 frs. See Druick, Douglas and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1982, pp. 165-178, repr. p. 173.

10.  Winans
Thomas De Kay Winans (1820-1878), locomotive engineer and collector [more].

11.  Dilberoglou
Staurus or Stavros Dilberoglue (1811-1878), merchant, of Cavafy and Co. [more], bought Fantin-Latour's copy after Paolo Veronese, The Wedding at Cana, 1563 (z7)(H. Fantin-Latour, Copy after The Wedding at Cana, by Paolo Veronese, 1865 (FL.263) (z110), Musée du Louvre).

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

13.  chinoise
Purple and Rose: The Lange Leizen of the Six Marks (YMSM 47) was shown at 96th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1864.

14.  Japonaise
M. and Mme de Soye, proprietors of the 'Porte Chinoise' in Paris [more], sold oriental goods in the Rue de Rivoli. Their shop was frequented by, among others, JW and Jacques ('James') Joseph Tissot (1836-1902), painter and etcher [more]. Both bought china and kimonos that were included in paintings, such as JW's Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (YMSM 56).