The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Vanderbilt, Edith Stuyvesant
Record 1 of 24

System Number: 05919
Date: 10 July 1898
Author: George Washington Vanderbilt[1]
Place: Innsbruck
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler V8
Document Type: ALS


July 10th 1898

Cher Maître

You are very often in my thoughts at all times but especially of late, as these last two weeks I have been revelling in art as seen in Venice and Vienna.

[p. 2] I have never heard you mention having been in the latter city, and now the pictures are so well hung in the new gallery. Imagine twenty six Titians[2] on one wall and as many Van Dykes[3] in another room with fifteen more [p. 3] Van Dykes in another museum. Thirteen Velasquez[4], fourteen Rembrandts[5] & two Hals[6]. Well I am tired and taking my usual day off in bed to get rested from it all. The albertina collection[7] in Vienna of drawings & prints also absorbed several mornings & [p. 4] I enjoyed the Durer[8] and Rembrandts and Fragonard[9] and others. Since saying good bye to you I have spent a delightful fortnight in the villa on Lake Maggiore and return there from here via the beautiful Stelvio pass[10], so that nature fills out & continues the interest [p. 5] of this little tour. It was Mrs Vanderbilts[11] first visit to both Venice & Vienna & it has been an added pleasure of course to see her delight and interest and the way the pictures really took possession of her.

I am wondering if you are in Paris yet and am hoping [p. 6] you will be there by July 25th as I come to Paris then for a couple of weeks instead of later as I told you I might. We are sailing for America on the 26th of August and I do hope you will be in Paris for a few days at least, both so that [p. 7] I may have the pleasure of seeing you again, and give you the few more sittings[12] for last touches.

If not too much trouble please send me a line saying if you will be in Paris, and address it Villa Vignolo
Stresa, Lago Maggiore

[p. 8] What do you think now of our navy[13] and how about the frenchmen on the Bourgogne[14]?

I shall be very disappointed if I dont see you soon and hoping your health is quite restored

believe me as always
yours devotedly

George Vanderbilt

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1.  George Washington Vanderbilt
George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914), collector [more].

2.  ALS
Written on narrow bordered mourning paper.

3.  Titians
Tiziano ('Titian') Vecello or Vecellio (1485-1576), painter and engraver [more].

4.  Van Dykes
Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1681), artist [more].

5.  Velasquez
Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660), painter [more].

6.  Rembrandts
Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn (1606-1669), painter and etcher [more].

7.  Hals
Frans Hals (1581/1585-1666), painter [more].

8.  albertina collection
Home of a vast prints and drawings collection founded by Albert, Duke of Saxon Teschen (1738-1822).

9.  Durer
Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), artist [more].

10.  Fragonard
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), painter [more].

11.  Stelvio pass
One of the highest main routes (9,048 ft; 2,758 m), in the central Alps region of northern Italy, near the Swiss and Austrian borders.

12.  Mrs Vanderbilts
Edith Stuyvesant Vanderbilt (1873-1958), née Dresser, wife of G. W. Vanderbilt [more].

13.  sittings
Sittings for Portrait of George W. Vanderbilt (YMSM 481). Vanderbilt commissioned the work in May 1897 (see G. Vanderbilt to JW, #05914).

14.  navy
The US battleship Maine had been blown up in Havana harbour in Cuba, possibly by a mine. President McKinley issued an ultimatum to the Spanish to withdraw from Cuba. On 3 July 1898 the Spanish Fleet was destroyed at Santiago by Admiral Sampson. Santiago was surrendered a few days later.

15.  frenchmen on the Bourgogne
On 4 July 1898, the French steamer La Bourgogne went down as the result of a collision with the British ship Cromartyshire off Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. She was carrying 506 passengers and 220 crew, of whom 546 were lost.