The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Michel, Émile
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 07488
Date: [1894][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris?]
Recipient: [unknown newspaper][2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler X58
Document Type: ALd

I have just seen the splendid collection of Rembrant's[3] published work reproduced and published in London gathered together & put before the us by means of most excellent reproductions - photogravures - procedés etc -

It is indeed a great fact marvelous thing to be able to possess & to hold in ones own keeping thanks to those extraordinary achievements of science the chemistry, get so really near to the wonders themselves, the whole of this all that this stupendous man's work! has done and we may well be grateful to Mons. Michel[4] who has collected and gone about and persisted and put together so that these reproductions finally can come into our possession hands - - And to Mr. Heinemann[5] one offers is grateful for

But [the?] Preface is a damnable thing! Worse than the gab[b]ling prating Valet de place[6] in the Louvre, is the introduction officious opening of the book by this most improper inexcusable introducer[7], & protector, of Rembrandt!
[p. 2] of whom moreover
But of this then over weaning you may not as you might of the Cicerone -
The pestiferous Ciceron [sic] you may dismiss with a scowl, kick or for a franc rid yourself -
for there he is - guide adviser & friend forever forever - -
with his bland blind bable to remain forever to all eternity the grain of sand in the machinery of your enjoyment of these beautiful volumes - Unless indeed you wrench forth the Preface and thrust it into the fire!
The [fires?] the very fat of [flatulence?] self sufficiency of
Why this flunk -

Why preface! - Why

But even the momentary satisfaction of seeing flare in the flames brings about more irritatingly before you the ridiculous fact that in every other copy, the pedantic [pre text?] [hanger on &?] expositor tout and parasite appears with his foolish meaningless resume in the full ineptness of misplacement on the title page of

[p. 3] The W[8]. is a write[r] of paragraphs - that he should be [paid?] for the haphazard meeting out of promi offensive praise of or blame according to latest signs of the times is

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1.  [1894]
Dated by publication (see below).

2.  [unknown newspaper]
This is a very rough draft of a letter that was not, as far as is known, published.

3.  Rembrant's
Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn (1606-1669), painter and etcher [more].

4.  Michel
Émile Michel (1828-1909), writer on art. The book was Michel, Emile, Rembrandt. His Life, his Work, and his Times, translated from the French by Florence Simmonds, edited by Frederick Wedmore, and published by William Heinemann, London, 1894.

5.  Mr. Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

6.  Valet de place
Fr., museum guard.

7.  introducer
Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921), art critic [more]. See also #13373.

8.  The W
The whole focus of JW's attack is F. Wedmore, who was the editor of Michel's book. This final note, on p. 3, was written in pencil.