UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 11 of 67

System Number: 08046
Date: [25/30 July 1867][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Henri Fantin-Latour[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/33/26
Document Type: ALS


'1867' '(25)'[3]

2 Lindsey Row
Old Battersea bridge
Chelsea -

Pauvre cher Fantin! -

crois moi j'ai été tres affligé en ouvrant ta lettre de deuil! - Aussi ai je eu un grand remords de ne pas avoir t'écrit depuis si longtemps - je méritais presque d'être traité en étranger et non pas en ami comme tu me regardes encore, digne de sympathiser avec toi dans ta douleur - Je sais combien tu aimais ta mère[4] et je resens pour toi beaucoup de peine - et ton père[5] aussi [p. 2] dans son chagrin - Pardonne moi mon long silence - cela ne voulait, comme tu sais bien, rien dire que des retards continuels et des intentions remises au lendemain! par vilaine habitude! Aussi le travail m'a beaucoup tenu dernierement - Mais de ceci une autre fois -

Maintenant mon cher ami, ne pourrais tu peutêtre pas venir passer quelque peu de temps içi avec moi? Le changement te ferait du bien - tu retrouverait peutêtre hors Paris un calme et dans notre ancienne amitié une tranquilité et [p. 3] une force dont tu aurais peutêtre besoin -

Viens mon cher Fantin. Il y a une chambre et un atelier a ta disposition, et tu trouveras, j'espere toujours, l'ami qui malgré son etrange conduite n'a point changé pour toi -

Mon frère[6] te serre la main. - Presentes a ton père notre sympathie respectueuse -

Whistler -


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Poor dear Fantin! - believe me I was much saddened on opening your mourning letter! - And I was filled with remorse at not having written to you for so long - I almost deserved to be treated as a stranger and not as the friend that you see me as still, worthy of being able to sympathize with you in your grief - I know how much you loved your mother and I feel much sadness for you - and your father also [p. 2] in his distress - Forgive my long silence - it means nothing, as you know well, but continual delays and good intentions put off until the next day! out of wretched habit! Work has also lately held me back - But more of that another time -

Now my dear friend, could you not perhaps come to spend some time here with me? The change would do you good - you would perhaps find some calm away from Paris and a tranquillity and strength in our old friendship [p. 3] which perhaps you might need -

Come my dear Fantin. There is a room and a studio waiting for you, and you will find, I still hope, a friend who despite his strange conduct has not changed towards you -

My brother sends his greetings. - Do give your father our sympathy and our respects -


Notes:

1.  [25/30 July 1867]
Dated from the death of Fantin-Latour's mother on 20 July 1867.

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

3.  '1867' '(25)'
Added in another hand at top of page.

4.  ta mère
Hélène Fantin-Latour (d. 1867), née de Naidenhoff, adopted daughter of Countess Zoloff [more], had been ill for some time. Her death in fact freed Fantin-Latour from family ties and he was able to establish himself in a studio in Paris. As a result, he did not visit JW in London, as suggested.

5.  ton père
Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1805-1875), father of the artist [more].

6.  frère
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].