The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Parry, John Humffrey
Record 15 of 16

System Number: 12040
Date: [November 1878?][1]
Author: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: London
Recipient: [none]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: MsD

In the High Court of Justice
Queen's Bench Division


- v -

Mr Serg[ean]t Parry[5]

J. Anderson Rose
11 Salisbury Street

[p. 2] Mr Frith[6] R. A fancies that Apollo Ruskin is about to flay Marsýas[7] and so Frith comes to hold the knife

There are numerous artists and good judges of Arts who detest and abhor the Art Mr Frith represents - vizt - the commonplace of Vulgarity and crime

Let Mr Frith describe his three pictures

The Derby day
[landscape rectangular outline]

thimble riggers and their associates

Foreground to the right
prostitutes their keepers and pensioners

The Railway Station
[landscape rectangular outline]

a big fat woman in imitation India Shawl

Foreground a forger and two detectives

[p. 3] Frith R. A. in the Royal Academy
"The Road to Ruin"
Nos. 291, 292, 293, 294, 295 -
College Ascot Arrest Struggle The end

But Mr Frith could give the Jury a solemn lesson in The Road to Ruin in his own life not his own ruin - his Wards

He seduced his own ward
In his own house
Where lived his own wife
and his own numerous family

Mr Burne Jones[8] is coming to give evidence against a brother Artist

It has been found difficult not doubt to get Artists to give evidence for an artist. But it has it is known been equally indeed more difficult for Mr Ruskin to get artists to give evidence.

Mr Burne Jones is the Artist who has for a long time been persistently & fulsomely flattered by Mr Ruskin[.] He is Mr Ruskin's most intimate friend

But let him be asked whether the terms Mr Ruskin applies to Mr Jones do not apply equally to Mr Whistler. See the sentence commencing "The work is natural to the painter"

'p 201[9] / line 11 / Fors Clavigera[10]'

But here are facts not arrngments [sic] about Mr Burne Jones
He was a member of the Old Water Colour Socy
[p. 4] He exhibited a picture[11] there -
This picture was on the walls of the Exhibition of the private view that year.
Complaints were made of the indecency of Mr Burne Jones picture.
It was taken down and removed from the Exhibition by the Committee of the Old Water Colour Society - all artists of mature Judgment - the leaders and masters of Art
Mr Jones Burnes [sic] resignee [sic] and - He has ever since ceased to be a member of the Old Water Colour Society -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [November 1878?]
These notes were made in preparation for the case of Whistler v. Ruskin, which was heard at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878. There is a copy of this document (#11992).

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]

3.  78
The legal documents kept by Rose on each case, or each aspect of a case. were given the same number.

4.  Ruskin
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more].

5.  Mr Serg[ean]t Parry
John Humffrey Parry (1816-1880), Sergeant-at-law [more].

6.  Mr Frith
William Powell Frith (1819-1909), genre and landscape painter [more]. See Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 141-45 for JW's testimony; and, on Ruskin's side, pp. 171-76 for Burne-Jones, pp. 176-78 for W. P. Frith, and pp. 178-80 for T. Taylor.

7.  Marsýas
In Greek Myth, the satyr Marsyas was so proud of his flute playing that Apollo challenged him to a music contest. The God played his lyre while Marsyas continued on his flute, and following some trickery by Apollo the Muses awarded victory to him. Apollo then took revenge for the effrontery of Marsyas by flaying him alive and pinning up the removed skin on a pine tree. The scene was painted by numerous artists, including Raphael, Tintoretto and Titian.

8.  Mr Burne Jones
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), painter and designer [more].

9.  p 201 ... Clavigera
Added in left margin.

10.  Fors Clavigera
Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213.

11.  picture
E. Burne-Jones, Phyllis and Demophoön, 1870. Burne-Jones resigned from the Old Watercolour Society in 1870 when objections were raised about the nude male figure.