UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Ionides, Alexander Constantine
Record 1 of 22

System Number: 00794
Date: [May 1862/1867?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Aglaia Coronio[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C295
Document Type: ALS


Thursday

My dear Madame Coronio

I have been so excessively rude that I have now hardly the courage to write -

You know how happy I shall be to come and dine on Sunday if you will still let me - Will you thank your husband[3] for his kind letter to me which I intended to have answered, and for which neglect I have no excuse - John's picture[4] meanwhile is nearly finished - You are all too kind and too indulgent towards one who's [sic] conduct shows how little he merits it - however much he is grateful for it -

Believe me my dear Madame Coronio
Yours Sincerely

J. Whistler.


This document is protected by copyright.


Notes:

1.  May 1862/1867?]
Dated from handwriting and signature, and references to a commission (see below). The signature is in a form found on only a few letters (e.g. #09332, #11085).

2.  Aglaia Coronio
Aglaia Coronio (1834-1906), née Ionides, wife of George Coronio [more].

3.  John's picture
This suggests that JW may have attempted a portrait of John Coronio, son of Aglaia and T. J. Coronio. In May 1862 George du Maurier recorded: 'Jimmy ... has been trying to paint little Ossi Coronio but has given it up in disgust.' (Du Maurier, Daphne, ed., The Young George du Maurier: A Selection of his Letters, 1860-67, London, 1951, p. 139). There is no other record of this picture, and it is not clear if 'Ossi' referred to Aglaia's son or to her six year old daughter, Calliope Despina 'Opie' (Theodore) (1856-1906). 'Opie' died at the age of fifty, and her mother committed suicide the following day.

4.  your husband
Georges Coronio (1831-1895), broker, banker and collector [more]. A couple of months later, in July 1862, Du Maurier said that JW was 'painting river pictures for the Greeks' (ibid, p. 160). These probably included Brown and Silver: Old Battersea Bridge (YMSM 33), commissioned by Alexander Constantine Ionides (1810-1890), shipping merchant and collector [more], and The Last of Old Westminster (YMSM 39) and Battersea Reach (YMSM 45), bought by George John Cavafy (1805-1891), merchant, partner in G. J. Cavafy and Company [more]. Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach (YMSM 46), which is dated 1863 but was not finished until 1867, is thought to have came into possession of Aglaia Coronio about 1889 in exchange for the much later Nocturne in Black and Gold: Entrance to Southampton Water (YMSM 179), of about 1876.