The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Hill, Frank Harrison
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 05425
Date: [January 1886][1]
Author: Walter Richard Sickert[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: Frank Harrison Hill[3]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S69
Document Type: ALd

To the Editor of the Daily News.


In your interesting article[4] of last Monday "Snowy London from the dome of St. Paul's" your correspondent says that the painter who can do justice to the London fog has yet to assert himself. Let me beg him without delay to make himself acquainted with the works of Mr. Whistler. [p. 2] With the series of oil paintings of London [effected?] by day and night, the latter known by the much-discussed name of Nocturnes, and distinguished by numerical chromatic and numerical titles - with a series perhaps as numerous of subjects motives of the same nature in watercolour - with many of the Thames Etchings, specially notably the dry-points, and lastly with the interesting remarkable series of lithographs[5] printed by Messrs. Way[6] in Wellington Street - [p. 3] [When?] Later on in your article mention is made of something which Mr. Ruskin[7] might have said. Let me quote what Mr. Whistler did say in his "Ten o'clock"[8] on the same subject. [two illegible words] cComing from him, in his experience and achievement, it must have has twenty times the interest of any merely critical utterance.

"And when the evening mist clothes the riverside with poetry, as with a veil, and the poor buildings lose themselves in the dim sky, and the tall [p. 4] chimneys become campanile, and the warehouses are palaces in the night, and the whole city hangs in the heavens - and fairy-land is before us, then the wayfarer hastens home, the working man, and the cultured one, the wise man, and the one of pleasure, cease to understand as they have ceased to see, and Nature, who for once, has sung in tune, sings her exquisite song to the artist alone, her son and her master. Her son in that he loves her, her master in that he knows her."

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1.  [January 1886]
Dated by reference to press-cutting (see below).

2.  Walter Sickert
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

3.  Frank Harrison Hill
Frank Harrison Hill (b. ca 1830-d.1910), editor of the Daily News from 1870-1886 [more].

4.  article
Daily News, [January 1886].

5.  lithographs
Perhaps a reference to JW's lithographs of the Thames published by Way in 1878 which included Limehouse (C.7) and The Broad Bridge (C.11).

6.  Messrs. Way
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more]; and Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), printer, lithographer and painter [more].

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

8.  Ten o'clock
The 'Ten O'Clock Lecture' was JW's chief public statement of his aesthetic ideas. It was first delivered in London on 20 February 1885 at the Prince's Hall, Piccadilly. Over the next few months, he repeated it at several other venues in London, Oxford and Cambridge.