The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Art and Art Critics
Record 20 of 35

System Number: 09198
Date: 11 January 1879
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: George Aloysius Lucas[1]
Place: Paris
Repository: Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Call Number: 20 folder, W-Lucas file
Document Type: ALS


11 January 1879

Je vous[2] la souhaite bonne et heureuse: my dear Lucas -

also make my best wishes to Madame[3] -

The enclosed letter[4] you will post as it is to its present address - and be charming - Then there will come answer to you for Miss Franklin[5] - and forgive the trouble I am giving you -

I will come over soon I hope to thank you - [p. 2] meanwhile I send you my last! a pamphlet[6] et vous[7] m'en direz des nouvelles -

The little letter correspondence[8] will go on for a little while and I trust you will not think it too great a trouble.

Doubtless you have heard of my Ruskin trial[9], but the details I must give you myself.

Adieu et mille remerciements
Ever yours affecly

J. A. Mc.N. Whistler.

This document is protected by copyright.


'Whistler January 11th 1879[10]'

Monsieur George Lucas
21. Rue de l'arc de Triomphe
Barrière de l'Etoile
[postmark:] LONDON SW / 2 / JA 11 / 79
[postmark:] LONDON SW / 2 / JA 11 / 79
[postmark on verso:] PARIS / 2E 12 / JANV / 79 / LES [TER?]


1.  George Aloysius Lucas
George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), art dealer in Paris [more].

2.  Je vous
'Je vous ... heureuse', Fr., I wish you a very happy New Year.

3.  Madame
Perhaps a reference to Octavie Josephine de Macedo-Carvalho (1833-1909), née Marchand, probable mistress of George A. Lucas [more].

4.  letter
Not located, but see Randall, Lillian, ed., George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909, Princeton, 1979, p. 468, entry dated 12 January 1879: 'Rec'd letter from Whistler [#09198] enclosing one to return.'

5.  Miss Franklin
Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more]. Maud was pregnant with Maud McNeill Whistler Franklin (b. 1879), daughter of JW and Maud Franklin [more]. JW behaved badly in the circumstances. In the aftermath of the Whistler-Ruskin trial and his threatened bankruptcy, JW left Maud at London hotel on the pretext that he was going to Paris. He completed the deception by persuading Lucas to send his letters to Maud from Paris.

6.  pamphlet
Whistler, James McNeill, Whistler v. Ruskin: Art and Art Critics, London, 1878. It was published on 24 December 1878.

7.  et vous
'et vous ... nouvelles', Fr., and you will tell me what you think of it.

8.  correspondence
Lucas's diary from January 1879 reads: '2. Sunday. Rec'd letter from Whistler enclosing one which I remailed for London [...] 8 Wednesday. Rec'd letter from Whistler [...] 9. Thursday. Mailed by Eugene Whistler Franklin letter [...] 14. Tuesday. Mailed letter rec'd today (Whistler affair).' See Randall, Lillian, ed., George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857-1909, Princeton, 1979, p. 468.

9.  Ruskin trial
JW's libel suit against John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more] took place on 25-26 November 1878. Despite winning the case, he was awarded only a farthing's damages and as a result found himself close to bankruptcy.

10.  Whistler January 11th 1879
Written in Lucas's hand.