The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Peacock Room
Record 29 of 79

System Number: 02578
Date: 1 November 1876
Author: Frederick Richards Leyland[1]
Place: Liverpool
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L114
Document Type: ALS

'No. 7[2]'

[embossed monogram:] 'FRL'
Speke Hall

1 Nov 1876

Dear Whistler,

I have received your two letters[3] and am more surprised than I can tell you that you should think fit to write to me in such a tone. The work[4] is not yet finished and it is really intolerable that you should feel aggrieved[5] that the balance of the complete [p. 2] payment was only sent to you on Monday instead of Saturday - the very day of my return.

As to the amount I distinctly recollect my offer (which you accepted) was to pay a thousand pounds and I am certainly not inclined to pay more.

Yours truly

Fred. R. Leyland

[p. 3, rough sketches[6], possibly by JW]

This document is protected by copyright.


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

2.  No. 7
Double-underlined. Written in hand of JW. He seems to have numbered his correspondence with Leyland over Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178) with a view to publication although this did not materialise.

3.  two letters
See JW to F. R. Leyland, #02573 and #02575.

4.  work
The dining room at 49, Prince's Gate, F. R. Leyland's London home. JW worked through the summer months on Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178), a decorative scheme for the room. According to the diarist Alan Cole on 26 October, JW was still working on the peacock feathers on the panels below the wainscot (see #12986).

5.  aggrieved
Having already paid JW £400, Leyland sent JW a cheque for £600. This, he asserted, was the final payment due to JW (see F. R. Leyland to JW, #02574). However JW claimed payment for the decorations in guineas (one guinea was equivalent to £1.05). Although out of circulation by 1876, professional fees were sometimes still paid in guineas. Thus, JW claimed that Leyland's payment fell short by £50.

6.  rough sketches
On this page is a caricature in charcoal of a male figure (perhaps Leyland) and two strutting peacocks or grasshoppers.