The Jervis McEntee Diaries - March 6, 1879

Diary Entry:

Began a third head of Gertrude the second one having qualities I feared to lose. After getting this in a certain state of forwardness I painted on the second one and have made it much more delicate, not entirely like Gertrude in all respects yet very suggestive of her. Bellows called and showed me a very disagreeable letter from Baltimore animadverting upon the collection of pictures sent to the Peabody Institute. It praised a few men but my little Winter Twilight was spoken of most contemptuously. I am sure I thought it a good picture and it was the latest thing I had done. Bellows thought he saw Averys hand in it but I dont know and I presume he only surmises. He was feeling very discouraged because his pictures had been attacked lately and censure seems to trouble him greatly. I advised him not to read these things, that they were mostly written by men whose opinion he would not value and the best way was not to take any interest in them. Julia Vaux went to Syracuse this morning with Miss Fanny Gott and Miss Mabel White. Lily Taylor who had just arrived drove directly to the Grand Central depot and saw her a few minutes. I went up to see Mrs. Taylor this evening at Haven Putnams. Stedman and his wife were there and Stedman is very helpful giving up his affairs to attend to hers. Taylors remains are expected to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday next. The Germans are to sing a requiem perhaps in the City Hall Park and then he is to be taken to the cemetery about two miles from Kennet. A special train will be provided for those who wish to go. I do not think I will go. From there I went to Eastman Johnsons and we talked about modern art tendencies. A letter from Sara telling me Sedgewick is better; in good spirits but troubled for me. I have been reading some of Gertrudes letters written from College Hill in 1871. She never wrote me a letter that she did not lament our separation and always looked fondly forward to our being together again. I dont think any one was ever more devotedly loved than I was and after I have read her expressions of love and devotion to me I feel more keenly than ever her loss. Now while I am trying to paint her she is in my thought constantly and I live in my sweet sad memories of her pure and devoted life.

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