UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: colour, yellow
Record 6 of 16

System Number: 09651
Date: [April 1887?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Théodore Duret[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library and Archives, New York
Call Number: Met 192 W57/W576
Document Type: ALS


Je vous remercie mon cher Duret de la peine[3] que vous avez prise - mais vous aussi, il me semble, sous l'influence de la musique vous n'avez plus l'oeil pour rien! - car vous ne me dites pas une parole sur l'arrangement de la salle de Sarasate[4] -

Vous ne me parlez pas de l'harmonie en jaune et couleur de cher [sic][5] - Je ne sais pas [p. 2] [si] vous avez vu la table qui est faite d'apres mon dessin - Comment vous trouvez les proportions de la glace[6] au dessus de la cheminée dans la petite salle - Aussi si vous avez été enchanté par la couleur de l'ensemble, etc - -

Je ne sais rien de tout ceci - donc je dois supposer croire que cela ne vous a pas plu - et que [vous] gardez le silence de la discretion! - car vous savez que j'attache tout autant d'importance à mes 'arrangements' decorations qu'a mes tableaux -

Peutêtre viendrai-je passer deux ou trois jours a Paris bientôt -

Meanwhile always Yrs

[butterfly signature]

'The Vale'
Chelsea -


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Thank you my dear Duret for the trouble you have taken - but you also, it seems to me, under the influence of music, no longer have an eye for anything! Because you do not say a word about the arrangement of the Sarasate room.

You do not mention the harmony in yellow and flesh colour - I do not know if you have seen the table which is made to my design - What do you think of the proportions of the mirror above the chimney-piece in the small room - Also whether you were enchanted by the colour of the composition, etc.

I know nothing of all that - therefore I must assume that you did not like it - and that your silence is one of discretion! - because you know that I attach quite as much importance to my "compositions" and decorations as to my pictures.

Perhaps I shall come - I am going to spend two or three days in Paris soon.

Meanwhile always Yrs.

[butterfly signature]

'The Vale'
Chelsea -


Notes:

1.  [April 1887?]
Dated by address and reference to music room (see below).

2.  Théodore Duret
Théodore Duret (1838-1927), art critic and collector [more]. A German translation of this letter was published in Kunst and Kunstler IX, 1910, p. 363 (#09274).

3.  la peine
JW had asked Duret to contact Georges Petit for him about an exhibition (#07938). Duret had been posing for Arrangement en couleur chair et noir: Portrait de Théodore Duret (YMSM 252).

4.  la salle de Sarasate
JW designed the decoration of a music room for Pablo de Sarasate y Navascues (1844-1908), violinist [more]. In 1887 Walter Dowdeswell (1858-1929), art dealer [more], wrote, "In Paris [...] the music-room of his friend Sarasate is one of the most recent results of his efforts [...] It is an arrangement of white and delicate pink and yellow, and all the furniture was designed with due regard to the purpose of the room.' (Dowdeswell, Walter, 'Whistler,' The Art Journal, new series, vol. 50, no. 586, April 1887, pp. 97-103, at p. 98).

5.  l'harmonie en jaune et couleur de cher [sic]
This was the colour scheme of Sarasate's music room. The title stressed both the musical purpose and colour harmony of the room.

6.  la glace
There are designs in a Sketchbook (M.1001) (pp. 2, 90).