to his fiancée Vilma.
by Zbynek Svoboda, 2007.
Sketch-drawings in pencil by T F Šimon, 1905.
the Whistler-exhibition, 1905.
London March 24th, 1905
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
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.
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,
The original letter. London, March 24th 1905