The Jervis McEntee Diaries - December 27, 1876

Diary Entry:

Went up to Goupils and asked young Knoedler to come to my studio to talk on a matter of business. He made an appointment for tomorrow at 10.30. I mean to try to get him to take my pictures and intend to give him liberal terms if he is inclined to treat with me. Booth came and stood for Shylock and I have nearly completed it. He seems very much pleased with it. We had some conversation about the prices for the pictures. I tried to get his ideas but he said he had no idea. I then named $300 as what I had thought of in case that suited him. I think he was a little disappointed and he then told me that the only criterion he had was that Hicks asked $250 for the little Iago I have at home. I told him my only desire was to satisfy him and whatever he felt was just I would be satisfied with and so the matter rests. Mr. Stillman came with his wife to see my pictures while Booth was here and he had to retire while they came in. They seemed to like my pictures very much and talked of buying the larger one which is not quite finished but finally went away and said they would think of it and come again. He came again towards evening and finally bought a 12x20 picture I painted since I came down. He told me he had been looking at a Boughton at Averys for $1000 and that Avery had sent it to his house but he was not at all sure he would keep it and if he did not keep it he would buy my larger one instead of the smaller one. He seemed anxious to know what to buy and told me that being ignorant of Art he would be obliged to me if I would advise him. Asked my opinion of certain artists and I considered it my duty to give it as frankly as possible. He seems a very frank person and I could see how Avery and the dealers would manipulate him. I dined at Eastman Johnsons. Phil was there. We went up to the studio and Whittredge came in. Eastman has sold nothing so far and I think is very anxious as I am to make some arrangement with the dealers. He authorised me to tell Knoedler that he was ready to make an arrangement. Rouse is still there. Wrote to Gertrude last night and again tonight.

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