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The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Ionides, Euterpe
Record 2 of 8

System Number: 08044
Date: [25 May/10 June 1863][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Henri Fantin-Latour[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/33/24
Document Type: ALS[3]


7. Lindsey Row. Battersea bridge
Chelsea - London.

Lundi -

Mon cher Fantin -

Il y a longtemps que je te remercie du grand plaisir que tu m'as fait en m'ecrivant cette lettre[4] si charmante pour moi - tu dois bien te douter du grand effet que ça m'a fait! - C'est réellement bien gentil de ta part de m'avoir écrit tout de suite en sortant de l'exposition! - . `Cristi! si tu savais quel effet aussi cette nouvelle a produit içi! Il sont pas mal degoutés les Horseley[5] et autres de penser que la fille blanche[6] soit bien vue à Paris apres l'avoir maltraité içi! - Mon cher ami je viens[7] dans 5 ou 6 jours - il faut bien que nous voyons tout ça ensemble, et tu pourrais peutêtre revenir avec moi! - J'ai tant de choses à te dire et il faut pourtant que je finisse une ou deux petites toiles pour les Grecs[8] - Enfin nous causerons d'içi peu - Dilberoglou[9] a vendu encore un de tes fruits - et il veut plusieurs choses de toi - enfin je crois que tu [p. 2] n'as qu'a peindre et chaque toile on t'achetera! voyons c'a y est à la fin - Dis a Legros[10] que s'il a une petite toile - n'importe quoi qu'il la tiene prete car on veut lui acheter aussi - ou bien qu'il fasse tout de suite quelque chose de l'importance du tableau de Haden[11] et Dilberoglou le prendra -

Ici on est aux cent coups a cause du salon - un meconte[nte]ment general - Quand aux oeuvres il y a un paysage bigrement bien de Edwards[12] et des eaux fortes - Ridley[13] aussi deux toiles - Mais mon cher, Millais[14] a cette année produit vraiment un vrai tableau! enfin une chose tout ce qu'il y [a] d'artistique - tu l'aimeras beaucoup - - Racontes moi a propos de toi meme - et dis moi si les journaux[15] parlent bien de la fille blanche, et envois les moi! - Et Baudelaire[16] presente lui mes compliments et dis lui que sa sympathie pour mon tableau m'a fait beacoup de plaisir - et que je [p. 3] me promets à ma prochaine visite d'avoir enfin le bonheur de le rencontrer, quand j'espere qu'il voudra bien accepter quelques unes de mes meilleures epreuves de ces eaux fortes dont il a autrefois si bien parlé - Tu sais que Hardy[17] m'a écrit que quelqu'un désire acheter la fille blanche - j'aimerais bien la vendre à Paris - mais je n'ai plus reçu de nouvelles - tu devrais bien savoir, sans en avoir trop de l'air, le nom de l'individu, pour que [je] puisse peutetre savoir à quoi m'en tenir - Tu comprends - je veux avoir l'air d'avoir pleine confiance en Hardy mais en même temps il ne serait pas mal d'avoir l'oeil ouvert! - - Et Astruc[18]? ecrit-il cranement? Et le Moniteur[19] - et enfin tout ca? Le Journal pour Rire[20] doit s'en payer cette année avec les recus et les refusés - Mon cher Fantin raconte moi tout ce que tu peux. Burty[21] e[s]t il bon a quelque chose? Sais tu si l'on parle un peu de mes eaux fortes[22] au Salon? Et ton tableau[23] qu'est ce qu'on en dit - Si [p. 4] ce n'est pas acheté, je crois que les Grecs ne seraient que trop heureux de le posseder -

Adieu mon Vieux
A bientot
Mais écris encore une fois en attendant

Jim Whistler

Presentes bien mes compliments à ta famille - comme aussi ceux de Swinburne[24] qui te dit bien des choses


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Monday -

My dear Fantin -

It is a long time since I thanked you for the great pleasure your gave me by writing me such a delightful letter - you really cannot believe the great effect it had on me! - It is really very kind of you to have written to me as soon as you left the exhibition! - 'Cristi! if only you knew the effect this news has also had here! They are not a little disgusted the Horsleys and others to think that the white girl should be well received in Paris after having been badly treated here! My dear friend I am coming in 5 or 6 days - we must see it all together, and perhaps you would be able to come back with me! - I have so much to tell you and I must also finish one or two small canvasses for the Greeks - So we shall talk about that soon - Dilberoglou has sold another of your fruits - and he wants several things from you - so I think you [p. 2] have only to paint and they will buy every canvas from you! well there it is at last - Tell Legros that if he has a small canvas - no matter what[,] he should have it ready because they also want to buy from him - or he should quickly do something the same size as Haden's picture and Dilberoglou will take it -

Here we are very concerned about the salon - a general discontent - As for the works there is an awfully good landscape by Edwards and some etchings - also Ridley two canvasses - But this year my dear, Millais has truly produced a real picture! well something entirely artistic - you will like it very much - - Tell me about yourself - and tell me if the papers speak well of the white girl, and send them to me! - And Baudelaire give him my regards and tell him that his appreciation of my picture has given me great pleasure - and that I [p. 3] have promised myself on my next visit to have the pleasure of meeting him at last, when I hope he will accept some of the best proofs of those etchings of which he once spoke so well - You know Hardy has written to me that someone wants to buy the white girl - I would very much like to sell it in Paris - but I have received no more news - you should find out the name of the person, without making it too obvious, so that I might perhaps know what to expect - You understand - I want to appear to have full confidence in Hardy but at the same time it would be no bad thing to keep my eyes open! - - And Astruc? is he writing gallantly? and the Moniteur - and all of them? the Journal pour Rire must be doing well with the accepted [pictures] and the rejected ones - My dear Fantin tell me everything you can. Is Burty good for something? Do you know if people are talking about my etchings a little at the Salon? And what are they saying about your picture - If [p. 4] it has not been bought, I think the Greeks would be only too happy to own it -

Goodbye my old Friend I hope to see you soon But write again in the meantime

Jim Whistler

Give my regards to your family - and also Swinburne's who sends you his greetings


Notes:

1.  [25 May/10 June 1863]
Written in reply to Fantin-Latour's letter of 15 May 1863 (#01081); see note below. JW says it is a 'long time' since he received the letter, and also that he expects to be in Paris in '5 or 6 days'. He was certainly in Paris by 16 June (see below), and the likely span for this reply is therefore from around 25 May to 10 June.

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

3.  ALS
'22' is written in a different hand.

4.  lettre
Fantin-Latour's letter of 15 May 1863 (#01081).

5.  Horseley
John Calcott Horsley (1817-1903), historical genre painter and etcher [more]; he exhibited at the R.A. from 1839 to 1896.

6.  fille blanche
Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38), at the Salon des Refusés in Paris (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, cat. no. 596), had been rejected by the R.A. in 1862.

7.  je viens
JW was in Paris by 16 June 1863, when he wrote to the Comte de Nieuwerkerke (#09216).

8.  Grecs
Alexander Constantine Ionides (1810-1890), shipping merchant and collector [more], Euterpe Ionides (1816-1892), née Sgouta, wife of A. C. Ionides [more], and family.

9.  Dilberoglou
Staurus or Stavros Dilberoglue (1811-1878), merchant, of Cavafy and Co. [more].

10.  Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more].

11.  Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

12.  Edwards
Edwin Edwards (1823-1879), lawyer, painter and etcher [more]. At the 95th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1863, he exhibited Edwin Edwards, Lynmouth Harbour (z23), Edwin Edwards, Kempton Park, Sunbury (z24) , and three etchings - Edwin Edwards, The Ship Canal, Exeter (z25), Edwin Edwards, Plymouth from Mount Edgcumbe (z26), and Edwin Edwards, Devonport (z27) (cat. nos. 644, 958, 951, 955, 1001); see JW's letter to Edwards (#03192).

13.  Ridley
Matthew White Ridley (1837-1888), painter and etcher [more]. At the R.A. in 1863 he exhibited M. W. Ridley, Two Strings to the Bow (z28) (cat. no. 282), and M. W. Ridley, The Old Pond (z29) (cat. no. 289).

14.  Millais
John Everett Millais (1829-1896), artist [more]. At the R.A. in 1863 he exhibited J. E. Millais, My First Sermon (z30) (cat. no. 7), J. E. Millais, The Eve of St. Agnes (z31)(cat. no. 287) and J. E. Millais, The Wolf's Den (z32) (cat. no. 498).

15.  journaux
JW had a collection of clippings from the French press which described his work as 'un morceau de peinture d'une incontestable beauté' (Le Boulevard, 31 May 1863), and likened his work to the Pre-Raphaelites (Le Petit Journal, 11 June 1863); Arthur Stevens, writing as 'Graham' in Le Figaro, said 'je reconnais à cette oeuvre un artiste de race' (31 May 1863; GUL PC 1).

16.  Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), poet and critic [more]. His glowing review of JW's Thames etchings, exhibited at Martinet's gallery in Paris in January 1862, was first printed in the Revue Anecdotique, 2 April 1862 (Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, J. 1).

17.  Hardy
P. Hardy (later Hardy-Alan), colour merchant in Paris from 1860-1903 [more]. The critic Arsène Houssaye apparently wanted to buy the painting (see YMSM 38, and JW's letter to Frederick Sandys, #09455).

18.  Astruc
Zacharie Astruc (1835-1907), artist, journalist and poet [more].

19.  Moniteur
Le Moniteur was subtitled 'Le Journal officiel de l'Empire français.'

20.  Journal pour Rire
Journal pour Rire.

21.  Burty
Philippe Burty (1830-1890), critic [more]; he published 'Le Salon de 1863,' Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1 August 1863, vol. 15, pp. 152-53 on 'la gravure.'

22.  eaux fortes
Limehouse (K.40), The Pool (K.43) and Rotherhithe (K.66); Salon des Refusés, cat. nos. 2756, 2757 and 2758, all entitled Vue des bords de la Tamise, eau-forte.

23.  tableau
Henri Fantin-Latour, H. Fantin-Latour, La Lecture (FL.215) (z10), cat. no. 669; see Fantin-Latour's letters to JW of 26 April and 1 May 1863 (#01080, #01079).

24.  Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), poet and critic [more].