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The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: opinion (JW on Fantin)
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System Number: 11476
Date: 25 May and 13 June [1864][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Henri Fantin-Latour[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/33/20
Document Type: ALS[3]


7. Lindsey Row.
Old Battersea bridge
Chelsea. London

Vendredi 25 Mai '64[4]'

J'ai n'ai que deux minutes mon cher Fantin pour te dire combien je suis heureux de te savoir enfin entouré

Juin. 13.

Lundi - Cher Fantin je vais t'écrire - je n'ai que deux moments et à la plus grande hâte je ne puis te dire qu'une chose que tu devrais tout de même savoir malgré toute circonstance étrange qui puisse avoir lieu; c'est qu'il n'y a point d'individu en Europe avec qui je sympathize aussi entièrement que toi, et pour qui je puisse avoir autant d'affection qui en est du reste la consequence - Ainsi je suis fier de ton succes - et le temps me dure pour venir jusqu'a toi - de jour en jour j'ai esperé - mais maintenant peut-être à la fin de la semmaine tu me verras - Ton tableau ven[p. 2]du à Gambart[5] est la meilleure chose qui puisse possiblement t'arriver - mais ne m'en remercie pas - Cest ton tableau tout seul qui fait son affaire - je t'en causerai - mais c'est regretable que tu n'aie pas demandé 2500. fs. - mais cela ne fait rien - c'est l'avenir qui t'est assuré avec cette vente, et d'ici un an tu auras quatre fois ce pris pour des petites toiles! -

Tout va à merveille! - Ta lettre au Figaro[6] est inoui!

Ici - mon succés est vraiment audessus de toute esperance! Alphonse[7] aussi -

Je n'ai plus un instant - du reste il n'y a maintenant que des détails que je te donnerai dans la prochaine - je suis accroupi au chevalet avec un tableau[8] que je voudrai finir avant mon depart pour Paris - aussi l'argent manque mais nous l'aurons et grandement - Je sens ton succes comme quelque [p. 3] chose d'énorme - et je veux surtout te voir en plein làdedans: et alors je te ramene ici comme tu me l'a promis -

Whistler -


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Friday 25 May

I only have two minutes my dear Fantin to tell you how pleased I am to know that you are at last surrounded [or 'garlanded']

June 13.

Monday - Dear Fantin I am going to write to you - I only have a couple of moments and in the greatest haste I can only say one thing which you should in any case know despite any strange circumstance that might happen; it is that there is no individual in Europe with whom I sympathize so entirely as you, and for whom I could have so much affection which is of course the consequence - So I am proud of your success - and I want to come and see you - I have been hoping from day to day - but now perhaps you will see me at the end of the week - Selling your picture to Gambart is the best thing that can possibly happen to you - but do not thank me - It is your picture alone which has won the day - I shall tell you about it - but it's a shame that you did not ask 2500 fs - but that doesn't matter - your future is assured with this sale, and a year from now you will get four times the price for small canvasses! -

Everything is going wonderfully! - Your letter to the Figaro is amazing!

Here - my own success is truly above all expectation! Alphonse as well -

I have no more time - there are only details in any case which I shall tell you in my next - I am crouching over my easel with a picture that I should like to finish before leaving for Paris - and I am short of money but we shall have this and lots of it - I can feel your success as something prodigious - and I want especially to see you in the midst of it: and then I shall bring you here as you have promised me -


Notes:

1.  25 May and 13 June [1864]
The year '64' has been added in a different hand, and confirms references in the letter. Whistler has given the first date incorrectly, as 25 May was a Wednesday and Friday was 27th; 13 June is, however, correctly noted as Monday.

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

3.  ALS
'17; is written in a different hand at the top of p. 1.

4.  64
Written in a different hand.

5.  tableau vendu à Gambart
H. Fantin-Latour, Hommage à Eugène Delacroix (FL.227) (z100) was exhibited at the Salon in 1864, and bought for 2000 frs. by Ernest Gambart (1814-1902), of Ernest Gambart and Co., wholesale printsellers [more]. See Druick, Douglas and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1982, pp. 165-178, repr. p. 173.

6.  Figaro
Fantin's letter has not been identified.

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

8.  tableau
Possibly Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl (YMSM 52) or Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (YMSM 56).