UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: oil painting, varnishing
Record 16 of 42

System Number: 10715
Date: [28 June 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Stephen Richards[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/44/3
Document Type: ALS[3]


33. Rue de Tournon. Paris -

Tuesday .
'June 28th 1892'

Dear Sir -

Since my note[4] last night I reflected that I could not possibly add in any way to either of the two paintings in question, and therefore sent you the telegram of this morning -

I expect Mr. Kennedy[5] here by Friday - wherefore please get on with all the four pictures, completing the careful cleaning, and then varnish them beautifully and we will send you word whether they are to come on here or not - What I meant, in my letter, [p. 2] about "scumbling", was that I had never been guilty in any of my work of such meritricious method - and that the atmospheric tone under the arches in the Westminster Bridge picture[6] is due to nothing of the kind - and that therefore there is no fear of glaze or scumble disappearing in the cleaning - Still you cannot be too tender in your dealing with the painting -

However I have hitherto been so much pleased with you that I am sure you will achieve again a complete success -

Now about the cracks - I doubt if they are more than superficial - and much will disappear with the taking off of the old varnish - the [rest?] remaining traces you can, as before, carefully fill, and on revarnishing no more will be seen of them -

Write me a line and tell me how you like the pictures. - I believe that the Westminster will be a marvel of richness when cleaned & varnished! It has not been touched since it was painted. -

Also the Battersea Reach[7] ought to be a beauty of warm colour - What do you think of the Sea Piece[8]?

That ought to come out as pure as a crystal -

Let me hear from you - at once -
and believe me Very faithfully Yrs

J McN. Whistler

I hope one of these days to get you work to do over here.


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Notes:

1.  [28 June 1892]
The 28th June 1892 was a Tuesday. Date of receipt written in pencil in another hand at the top of p. 1. Another letter was written to Richards the day after; see #10716. This letter is written in purple ink.

2.  Stephen Richards
Stephen Richards (b. ca 1845), picture restorer [more].

3.  ALS
Written in purple ink.

4.  note
#05189.

5.  Mr. Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

6.  Westminster Bridge picture
The Last of Old Westminster (YMSM 39).

7.  Battersea Reach
Battersea Reach (YMSM 45).

8.  Sea Piece
Harmony in Blue and Silver: Trouville (YMSM 64).