A letter by T.F.Šimon 
to his fiancée Vilma.
London 1905

Translation by Zbynek Svoboda, 2007.
Sketch-drawings in pencil by T F Šimon, 1905.

At the Whistler-exhibition, 1905.


London March 24th, 1905

Impressions are being collected constantly and gradually comes weariness and irritation which tortured us during the first visit back then. We felt the first symptoms of this state today.
London is noisy, full of smoke, unhealthy, nasty, but only on its outside. Among those warehouses, factories, in that multitude of soot and smoke, spots and places can be found where the most beautiful and the most delicate things are being enshrined with the greatest care like precious flowers in greenhouses. You can disappear from the most noisy street full of asphalt and kerosene smell to a quiet harmonic place or to a beautiful English gothic corner.

On Tuesday, we discovered somewhat by a lucky chance a quarter full of art galleries and enterprises. It was near Piccadilly, where the Royal Academy is also situated. Unfortunately, we did not see Watts whose collected works were exhibitited there. We went to several smaller galleries (like Durand Ruel etc. in Paris) and finally also to a certain Bruilon (?) Gallery - we were lured there by a nice poster - where the following trouble happened to us. We went inside without paying the compulsory fee, a certain attendant came to us and wanted something but because he spoke a language unknown to us (English) we could not make an arrangement with him and therefore the chief of the enterprise was called to us. He spoke French and "we were suddenly at home" (we suddenly understood). He acted very politely when we told him that we were artists (literary "craftsmen") and he did not want the compulsory fee from us anymore. He began to be more and more interested in us and he insisted especially on me knowing I was a painter what I painted and where I exhibited my works etc. etc. I told him briefly about my work and effort till now and he showed a willingness to organise my exhibition in his gallery. I invited him to come to see me in Paris and he promised me that he would do that in spring during his visit to Paris. It is for sure it would be a wonderful fluke. The gallery is altogether very elite (noble) - at that moment, he had there an exhibition of a very interesting female artist, draughtswoman in the style of Beardsley.
I wrote to Štenc in Prague to send me immediately photographs of my last paintings and if they arrive in time, I might show them to that certain applicant. It is still not something for sure but maybe it could be.

Furthermore, we want to arrange a possible exhibition of whole Manes association or at least of its several members with the help of count Lützow (Frantisek Lützow), to whom Böttinger had been  recommended. We hope he will give us advice also in other things.
Hugo arrived on Tuesday evening, we had a lot of subjects to talk about. The next day, we went to the Whistler exhibition and we relished it so much - that we almost got drunk by it. One can loose his mind! I can't find and don't have words to express my feelings. I consider myself a lucky man that I can see artworks of this master and I regret everyone who cannot see and relish them. We will go there several more times and we will hardly be able to say goodbye.
Besides, we have excellent weather, warm sunny days.

You are constantly on my mind, my dear, and I regret we are not here together.We are a little disappointed in the London girls, probably we don't have good luck or Whistler overshadowed everything.....
Kissing you warmly,
Yours FS


The original letter. London, March 24th 1905

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