The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 08792
Date: [May/June 1869][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Frederick Richards Leyland[2]
Place: [Liverpool?]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 6B/21/4
Document Type: ALS

Dear Leyland

I was so pleased with the kind and sympathizing tone of your letter to my Mother[3] that I felt instantly the wish to thank you for it - I am a bad hand at this though and perhaps should have waited to see you, had I not last night heard from Rossetti[4] that you had been ill[5] - I fear from his report [p. 2] that you have been suffering very much and that it may be some time before we shall have you among us - how gladly I should run down to talk with you instead of sending this miserable scrawl - which cannot express the affection I feel - If I am only able to show part of it feebly in the picture[6] one of these days I shall be less pained than I am at present because of its long delay - Meanwhile I [am] most happy to tell you that you have, as I prophecied [sic] you would, in Moores Venus[7] [sic] [p. 3] the most beautiful work in the Academy[8] - no that would be saying nothing - I mean one of the most marvelously perfect things that has been produced - I cannot be too enthusiastic about it - To me me [sic] it is faultless! I never have enjoyed anything so thoroughly - and know that that [sic] you have one of the finest things in England -

My dear Leyland I must send this off with a hurried wish for your rapid convalescence - accompanied [p. 4] by my Mothers kindest regards to yourself and Mrs Leyland[9] to whom pray remember me and believe me

Ever yours affectionately

J A McN Whistler

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1.  [May/June 1869]
Dated from reference to the Royal Academy exhibition (see below).

2.  Frederick Richards Leyland
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more].

3.  Mother
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more]. Leyland's letter has not been located.

4.  Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), artist and poet [more].

5.  ill
The nature of Leyland's illness is unknown. However, it is confirmed in a letter written by D. G. Rossetti to Leyland in which he offers his sympathy (see Fennell, Francis L., ed., The Rossetti-Leyland Letters, Athens, Ohio, 1978, Letter 22).

6.  picture
This may be a reference to The Three Girls (YMSM 88), which was commissioned by Leyland in 1867, but never completed, or to JW's proposed portrait, Arrangement in Black: Portrait of F. R. Leyland (YMSM 97).

7.  Moore's Venus
Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893), painter [more], A. Moore, A Venus (z66) (1869, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne).

8.  Academy
The 101st Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1869 opened on 3 May.

9.  Mrs Leyland
Frances Leyland (1836-1910), née Dawson [more].