The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: gift from JW
Record 23 of 45

System Number: 04113
Date: 16 November 1889
Author: Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac[1]
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London?]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M383
Document Type: ALS[2]

Merci pour la miraculeuse toile d'araignée Lochoise[3],
dear Butterfly!

Votre fœtus horticole[4] menaçait de grandir! . . Mais mon jardinier japonais Hata[5], jeune bougre qui dès demain commence à rabougrir mes forêts, se fait fort de réprimer toutes velléités de croissance.

Rassurez-vous donc, et revenez bientôt faire de ce vieux petit monstre, le [p. 2] surtout des festins de l'étonnement.

Salut à Madame Trixie[6] - qui doit aussi envoyer une eau forte!

Et grâces encore à vous!


16 nov. 89

Revu la Comtesse[7], et mise au courant des récentes Whistleriana[8].

This document is protected by copyright.


Thank you for the miraculous spider's web from Loches, dear Butterfly!

Your horticultural foetus is in danger of growing!… But my Japanese gardener, Hata, young fellow who from tomorrow is beginning to prune my forests, is good at suppressing any impulse for growth.

So reassure yourself, and come back soon to make this little old monster the peak of feasts of astonishment!.

Greetings to Mrs Trixie - who must also send an etching[9]!
And thanks again to you!


I saw the Countess again, and brought her up to date with the recent Whistleriana.


1.  Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921), Symbolist writer and poet, and collector [more].

2.  ALS
A small section has been torn from the middle of the top of p. 1, possibly where a monogram appeared. Published in Newton, Joy, La Chauve-Souris et le Papillon. Correspondance Montesquiou-Whistler, Glasgow, 1990, no. 22, pp. 58-59.

3.  Lochoise
JW was in Loches on honeymoon in the autumn of 1888. He must have given Montesquiou an etching, such as Mairie, Loches (K.382), or Tour St.Antoine, Loches (K.392).

4.  fœtus horticole
Montesquiou was cultivating a bonsai tree for JW.

5.  Hata
Hata, Montesquiou's Japanese gardener [more].

6.  Madame Trixie
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

7.  la Comtesse
Elisabeth, Comtesse Greffulhe (1860-1952), née Riquer de Caraman-Chimay [more].

8.  Whistleriana
Sentence written in right margin of p. 3, at right angles to main text.

9.  etching
JW taught his wife to etch on their honeymoon, and one etching was signed by both of them (Hunterian Art Gallery). It shows the same view as From Agnes Sorrel's Walk (K.385).