Jervis McEntee Diaries

Monday April 14, 1879

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Monday, April 14, 1879, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Returned this morning after an absence since last Saturday 6th when I went to New Haven and visited Weir where I remained until Friday afternoon 11th. While there Lily was home from Wellesley College for the Easter vacation. She sat for me for a small portrait which I painted in Weirs studio. I succeeded only tolerably but could have made it better I think if I had had more time. She is an exceedingly natural interesting woman and I enjoyed my visit with her greatly. She gave an amusing account of the life at Wellesley and had a keen appreciation of the absurdity of much that goes on there. I had never seen so much of her before and she struck me as an exceptionally interesting woman of strongly individual character and entirely natural, earnest and unaffected manners and aims. Her sister Emma also interested me greatly. Weir has a charming home. They were glad to have me there and I was very happy. While there I painted a picture on one of the panels of the parlor door. I left for Boston on Friday afternoon 11th and went directly to College Hill. Mr. Sawyer had left for New York that morning to attend Mrs. Connollys funeral and I did not see him. On Saturday I went out to Boston, called on Fuller and he and I visited some of the artists. Called first at Hunts rooms. He was not in but I had an interesting visit at his studio a very large one and full of his vigorous work. I could not keep thinking his horses in the pictures painted for the Capitol at Albany reminded me of Wagners horses in the "Chariot Race in the Circus Maximus", but his studio looked like the work shop of a strong and vigorous man. We next called on Porter. He was very polite but he struck me as a rather reserved and formal man who never surrendered to impulses. Called on Ordway who was sick and I dare say struggling. Saw Rowse a few minutes just come from N.Y. Went to Appleton Browns studio but he was not in. Stopped in at Doll & Richards, at Blakeslee & Noyes where was an exhibition of second rate foreign pictures soon to be sold, and a moment at Williams & Everetts. I invited Fuller to lunch with me at the Parker House after which we went to his studio and smoked and talked an hour or two when I left for College Hill. Alice and I called at Mr. Capens in the evening. On Sunday Mrs. Sawyer and I went to hear him preach in the College Chapel and I left about four o'clock for N.Y. We talked much of dear Gertrude and I was full of sad thoughts and we shed many tears. Here the shadows seemed to envelope me more closely and here I could not keep constantly thinking of her last days and I came away weighed down with all the sad memories of our last visit together there. It is just one half year ago today since she died and I am down in the lowest depths of sorrow today. O the loneliness and the sadness of life without her. Will I ever grow accustomed to it. I came home by the Norwich route arriving here early this morning. Lucy has been here and gone to Wilmington and did not get the letter I wrote her which I found here on my return. Breakfasted at Marys, and saw Tula who is still here. Her father has been here and left for home this morning. It is dull and rainy and I am as sad as I can well be, but I hope to rise out of it for I am always depressed on my return after a prolonged absence. Spent the most of the day in my room. Dark and gloomy out of doors. Painted a little on a small head of Gertrude. To the Council meeting in the evening and to the Century afterwards with Whittredge. My thoughts have been with dear Gertrude all day and when I came to my room at midnight I was crushed under a sense of my loneliness and my yearning for her. Wrote to my father and sent $250 to pay our note due 18th.

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