Documents associated with: Colnaghi, Oswald Bernard
Record 4 of 5
System Number: 11914
Date: [25-26 November 1878?]
Author: James Anderson Rose
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: AD
Whistler v [Rus]kin
Fors clavigera has a large circulation amongst the art public Patrons & [brothers?] of art
of Irish descent
born in United [Stat]es (Maryland)
Educated in [Russia and] France
Medal for Etching Holland
Etching [in?] Amsterdam
country of Rembrandt
pupil of M. Glaire [sic]
Paris. fellow pupils [illegible]
Poynter, Arm[strong] & DuMaurier.
8 or 9 years England
Xhibited at the Royale [sic] academy
Stones of Venice
Libel . July 1877 Fors Clavigera Criticism on Exhibition in Sir Coutts Lindsay's Art Gallery Grosvenor Gallery,
Is the notice of Ptf art criticism or mere reckless defamation
= It is not a fair criticism but simply low defamation - personal not painting
= & calculated to do Plt great pecuniary injury. -
a defamation of the man not a criticism of the painting
Notices in other papers of libel
Daily News July 21. 1877
World " 18. "
Architect " 14. "
Academy " 21. "
Academy Oct. 30. 1875.
Favorable criticism etc "Blue & Gold" criticises the very picture Ruskin attacks
It was exhibited at the Dudley Gallery - 1875
Ruskin ought to have inquired or examined more fully before publishing his libel.
Mr Whistler a well known artist. -
Damage General not special.
Rose v [Groves?]
99 Why does Whistler give these names to his pictures.
Pictures in Summer Exhibition 1877
1. Nocturne in black & gold
2. Nocturne in blue & silver
3. Nocturne in blue & gold
4. Nocturne in blue & silver
5. Arrangement in black. Irving as Phillip [sic]
6. Harmony in Amber & Black
7. Arrangement in brown.
[p. 2] p. 21 Letter of Plt to Rose
Novr 21. 1878.
Have always been known to hold an independent position in art.
academy opposed to me
although he has several times exhibited in the academy
M[usic] is the poetry of sound
Painting is the poetry of sight
The subject matter has nothing to do
with harmony of sound or colour.
Why sho[ul]d. not I call my paintings, symphonies[,] arrangements, harmonies[,] nocturnes & so forth?
Blue & White China
Lange Lisen [sic] who pose in the [tall?] jars of China & Japan
[p. 3] Whistler v Ruskin
[99?]. as to exhibiting Plts pictures
Pictures not to be banded about like samples of butter
99 my letter before writ.
W. M. Rosetti. [sic] art critic
Martin & O. B Colnaghi . Picture Dealers
Albert Moore Painter
W. G. Wills Painter & Poet
Charles Keen [sic] artist
John [sic] Tissot artist
Josi [sic] Engraver of Carlyle's picture
Charles A. Howell Picture Dealer
to prove damage
[p. 4] Tom Taylor
Burne Jones incomplete but
an admirable beginning
a work of art
The picture is composed of very high qualities[,] some masterly -
In colour alone this is a vy beautiful picture -
No composition -
very good colour
The colour is better even more beautiful but more formless
It does not aim at being more than a sketch -
I've never seen nights painted -
worth 200 gs.
Great Colour & great artistic skill to produce these paintings -
1. [25-26 November 1878?]
These appear to be notes taken on or immediately before the case of Whistler v. Ruskin, heard at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878.
The document is made up of scattered notes, especially on page one. For the purpose of this transcription these have been arranged in a more linear progression than their original context provides.
Added in a circle, possibly by J. A. Rose.
5. Fors clavigera
Ruskin, John, 'Letter the Seventy-ninth' Fors Clavigera, 2 July 1877, pp. 181-213.
The Whistlers had originated in Ireland but JW's immediate ancestry on his mother's side was Scottish; he was not born in Maryland, but Lowell, Mass. At the trial he announced that he had been born in St. Petersburg!
7. Novr 1872
Reference not identified.
8. 9 [portraits]
By this time JW had etched over fifty portraits. He may be referring to a group which included Becquet (K.52), Astruc, a literary man (K.53) and Drouet (K.55), etched in 1859 (K.50-58, 60). Another group of mainly female portraits, including The Velvet Dress (K.105), dated from the 1870s (K. 102-03, 105-15).
JW was awarded a gold medal for his etchings at the Tentoonstelling van Kunstwerken van Levende Meesters, Hague School of Art, Princessegracht, The Hague, 1863.
Marc-Charles-Gabriel Gleyre (1806-1874), painter [more]. JW's fellow pupils included Edward John Poynter (1836-1919), history and genre painter [more]; Thomas Armstrong (1832-1911), artist and Director of Art, South Kensington Museum [more]; and George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more].
Double underlined. The reference is: Ruskin, John, Modern Painters, London, 1843-60, and Ruskin, John, The Stones of Venice, 3 vols, London, 1851-3.
The questions raised in the trial were numbered to ensure that all points were answered.
14. Daily News
[DNews18770721; World18770718; Arch18770714; Acad18770721]
JW exhibited seven oils at the 1st Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1877 (cat. nos. 5, 6A, 6, 4, 8, 9 and one ex. cat). These were Nocturne in Blue and Silver (YMSM 113), Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Old Battersea Bridge (YMSM 140) as 'Nocturne in Blue and Silver', Nocturne: Grey and Gold - Westminster Bridge (YMSM 145), Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170), Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (YMSM 181) as 'Harmony in Amber and Black', Arrangement in Brown (YMSM 182) and Arrangement in Black, No. 3: Sir Henry Irving as Philip II of Spain (YMSM 187). Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137), was exhibited in the entrance gallery (ex. cat.).
18. Arrangement in gray & black
Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101). It was exhibited at 104th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1872, after the intercession of William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more].
20. First Work
21. La Mère Gerard
JW gave La Mère Gérard (1) (YMSM 26) to Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), poet and critic [more]. At the Piano (YMSM 24) was bought by John ('Spanish') Phillip (1817-1867), artist [more]. JW also lists Wapping (YMSM 35), Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38), and Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (YMSM 56).
William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919), civil servant and critic [more]; Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893), painter [more]; William Gorman Wills (1828-1891), playwright and painter [more];Charles Samuel Keene (1823-1891), etcher, cartoonist and illustrator [more]; Jacques ('James') Joseph Tissot (1836-1902), painter and etcher [more]; Richard Josey (1840-1906), reproductive engraver [more]; Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more] and Thomas ('Tom') Taylor (1817-1880), civil servant, dramatist, art critic, and editor of Punch from 1874-1880 [more]. Rossetti, Moore and Wills appeared as witnesses for JW, Taylor appeared as a not-very-hostile witness for Ruskin. See Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 141-45 for JW's testimony, pp. 154-58 for Rossetti, pp. 158-59 for Moore, pp. 160-61 for Wills; and, on Ruskin's side, pp. 171-76 for Burne-Jones, pp. 176-78 for W. P. Frith, and pp. 178-80 for Taylor. 'Witnesses' is double underlined.
27. Burne Jones
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), painter and designer [more]. His name here is double underlined. This appears to be a record of his testimony during the trial. He was embarassed by having to appear on Ruskin's behalf, for which JW never forgave him (Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 171-76).
28. Black and Gold
29. other two
Nocturne in Blue and Silver (YMSM 113) and Nocturne: Blue and Gold - Old Battersea Bridge (YMSM 140) were compared in court to Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (YMSM 170) (see Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 171-76). 'other two' is double underlined.