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The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Jouvet, Jean Baptiste Alexandre
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 08032
Date: [16 August 1863][1]
Author: JW
Place: Amsterdam
Recipient: Henri Fantin-Latour[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/33/11
Document Type: ALS


'8[3]'
Adresse ta lettre "Hotel Brack[4]. Doelen"
Hotel des Pays Bas
Amsterdam -

'1863[5]'
Dimanche

Mon cher Fantin -

Nous n'avons pas pu repondre à ta dernière lettre[6] - il été déja trop tard, et nous n'aurions pu rien ajouter à ce que nous avions déja dit - Maintenon comme tu as bien cru avoir des devoirs à remplir, remplie les aussi vite que possible, et à notre retour à Londres d'ici six semmaines nous t'emmenerons, du reste il est probable que nous passerions à Paris, et là nous te prenons de force - car il faut absoluement que tu aies les guinées anglaises comme nous!

Il faut te laisser faire ta fortune - et on te la fera faire malgré toi - ne pense pas que nous causions en [p. 2] l'air - tout est deja parfaitement arreté et préparé - Nous t'écrirons de ça la prochaine fois -.

En attendant prepares des toiles pour un Salon[7] qui sera tout à fait particulier - - - Il ne s'agit pas de l'academie - mais chut! pas un mot -

Pour Legros[8], voici de qu'il te demande dis a Mijonet Miyonnet[9] qu'il soit assez gentil de lui rendre le carton de dessins eaux fortes et portraits, qu'il lui avait donné dans le temps; car ça serait tres utile maintenant à Alphonse, et il lui ferait autre chose, lorsqu'il le voudrait - Ceci serait lui rendre un grand service, et je crois que Miyonnet ne demandrait pas mieux que de lui etre aussi utile - [p. 3] du reste tu connais mes idées sur les esquisse qu'on donne, il faut toujours les rendre au moment où elles peuvent être utiles à l'artiste qui les a donné -

Maintenant si Manet[10] aussi voudrait bien lui redonner la tête de Gabrielle[11]; il ferait une chose bien aimable, car ça serait tres bien pour Legros de pouvoir la faire voir, et il est sur de le vendre -

De ceci tu causeras avec Bracqmond[12] [sic] qui je crois sera de mon avis - Ces deux choses sont certainement bien importantes, et pour ma part je ne vois pas à y hesiter - car il est evident que tous les deux seront tres heureux de pouvoir rendre ce service a Legros - Pour moi, dis mois donc qu'est devenu la Fille blanche[13]. Demandes à Hardy[14] si il a executé mes [p. 4] ordres, et si il l'a emballé chez lui. à Martinet[15] j'ai deja dit de ne plus m'envoyer son mirliton de journal, car tu comprends c'est trop absurde de laisser écrire des articles infectes sur ce que nous faisons pour que nous les relisions! - Je lui ai envoyé le montant de mon abonnement - Je t'en prie laches le, et dis que nous l'avons laché - Tu n'en seras que mieux - car je te repete que d'ici six semmaines je t'aurais à Londres avec nous a faire la peinture qui il te plaira et a en recevoir de l'or et des billets de banque! - Nous te parlerons bientot de Rembrandt[16]! Envoyes si tu le peux l'article de Jouvet[17] sur la fille blanche, et tout autre que tu pourrais car ça m'aidera serieusement à la vendre a un individu[18] que je connais la désirer -

Tout à toi

Whistler & Legros -


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Address your letter "Hotel Brack. Doelen"
Hotel des Pays Bas
Amsterdam -

Sunday

My dear Fantin -

We could not reply to your last letter - it was already too late, and we could not have added anything to what we had already said - Now since you really thought that you had obligations to fulfil, fulfil them as quickly as possible, and on our return to London in six weeks' time we will take you away, besides it is possible that we shall pass through Paris, and there we will take you by force - because it is absolutely essential for you to have English guineas like us!

We must allow you to make your fortune - and we will make you do it in spite of yourself - do not think that we are [p. 2] daydreaming - everything is already organised and prepared - We shall write to you about that next time -.

Meanwhile prepare some canvasses for a Salon that will be very private - It is not a question of the academy - but sh! not a word -

As for Legros, this is what he is asking you - ask Miyonnet if he would be kind enough to send the case of drawings etchings and portraits, which he gave him some time ago; because Alphonse would find that very useful now, and he would do something else for him, when he wished - This would render him a great service, and I think Miyonnet would ask no more than to be useful to him also - [p. 3] besides you know my ideas on sketches that one gives away, they should always be given back the moment they could be useful to the artist who gave them -

Now if Manet also would return the head of Gabrielle to him; he would be doing a very kind thing, because it would be very good for Legros to be able to show it, and he is sure to sell it - You can talk about this to Bracqmond who I think will be of my opinion - These two things are certainly very important, and for my part I cannot see any reason to hesitate - because it is evident that both of them will be very happy to be able to render this service to Legros - As for me, tell me what has happened to the White Girl. Ask Hardy if he has carried out my [p. 4] orders, and if he has packed it up at his place. I have already told Martinet not to send me his pipsqueak paper, as you understand that it is too absurd to allow these foul articles to be written about what we are doing [just] so that we can re-read them! - I have sent him the money for my subscription - Please leave him, and say that we have left him - you can only be better off - because I repeat that in six weeks' time I will have you in London with us painting what you like and receiving gold and banknotes! We will tell you soon about Rembrandt! If you can, send Jouvet's article about the white girl, and everything else you could because that will help me seriously in selling it to someone who I know wants it -

Yours

Whistler & Legros


Notes:

1.  [16 August 1863]
JW's bill on leaving the Hotel des Pays-Bas is dated 16 August 1863 (#00159). This letter indicating a change of address was doubtless written on the same day, a Sunday.

2.  Henri Fantin-Latour
Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), artist [more].

3.  8
Written in another hand.

4.  Hotel Brack
Brack's Doelen Hotel on the Doelenstraat (Heijbroek, J. F. and Margaret F. MacDonald, Whistler and Holland, Zwolle and Amsterdam, 1997, repr. p. 49).

5.  1863
Written in another hand

6.  lettre
The previous extant letter from Fantin is dated 19 July (#01082).

7.  Salon
Not identified.

8.  Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more]. Although this letter is ostensibly from Legros and JW it is written entirely by JW.

9.  Miyonnet
Florestan Myionnet, writer. He was a close friend of Fantin-Latour, who included him with JW and others in H. Fantin-Latour, Etude pour l'Hommage à Delacroix (z101) on 13 September 1863, but not in the final version (see Druick, Douglas and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1982, cat. nos. 54 and 57).

10.  Manet
Edouard Manet (1832-1883), painter [more].

11.   tête de Gabrielle
Unidentified.

12.  Bracqmond
Joseph Auguste ('Félix') Bracquemond (1833-1914), painter and etcher [more].

13.  Fille blanche
Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38).

14.  Hardy
P. Hardy (later Hardy-Alan), colour merchant in Paris from 1860-1903 [more]. The painting was kept by Hardy after the Salon des Refusés (Ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, gravure, lithographie et architecture, refusés par le Jury de 1863, et exposés, par décision de S. M. l'Empereur, au salon annexe, Palais des Champs Elysées, Paris, 1863). It was returned early in the following year.

15.  Martinet
Louis Martinet (1814-1895), history painter, Directeur des Beaux-Arts [more]. His paper, Le courrier artistique, ran from June 1861 to November 1865.

16.  Rembrandt
Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn (1606-1669), painter and etcher [more]. The purpose of this trip to Holland was to etch the most famous painting in the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn, The Night Watch, 1642. (z21).

17.  article de Jouvet
Jean Baptiste Alexandre Jouvet (b. 1833), editor [more]; the article on the White Girl has not been identified.

18.  un individu
François Arsène Housset (1815-1896), pseudonym Houssaye, critic, founder of L'Artiste, and Inspecteur Général des Musées de France [more], who, according to Burger, wanted to buy the painting; see Burger, Willem, [Review of the Salon des Refusés], L'Indépendance Belge, 11 June 1863.