Letter from G. P. A. HEALY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated July 6, 1854.
Yours of the 25th of last month only reached me last evening. I fear this will be too
late, but I write all the same. We grieve to learn that Mrs. Marsh is still an
invalid. I have a thousand things to say when we meet, now let me state we shall not
return to America for a year, so we shall see the great exhibition next Spring &
perhaps those collections of pictures you speak of. We are very sorry that we have
take apartments at Versailles for two months we leave next Saturday; now this is too
bad to be away when you arrive, but we think the best thing for you to do is to
drive here at once & occupy our place for two or three months; our servant can
cook for you & I would be your guest as I shall go to Versailles but once a
week, you must understand that this will be a real kindness to me for I shall be
able to see so much of you in no other way. This is to be a very important day
I am writing this at half past four & I have been awake for the last two hours, la belle Anglaise, as she is called here in Society, is to give me her last sitting for the head at ten this morning, I wish I felt more like being able to do her justice, you shall see what I have done & I am prepared to believe you will find it less bad than any thing I have yet done, she is the beautiful Miss. [...], who has not so lovely a face as Mrs Marsh but she is certainly the most Titianesque beauty I ever saw. I will also show you a whole length of Mr. Geo. Peabody which I have recently painted in London.
My dear friend, in the hope that you will come to our apartments which extend their arms or want to be occupied by you, you will find every thing ready to your hand. Our affectionate regards to Mrs. Marsh & Niece & believe me
as ever Most SincerelyYoursGeo. P. A. Healy
c, c, c.
References in this letter:
The American financier and philanthropist, George Peabody (1795-1869) moved to England in 1837 where he specialized in foreign exchange and American securities.
The American portrait painter, George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894), was one of the most popular artists of his time. He is known for his paintings of presidents, statesman, and members of Society on both sides of the Atlantic. A native of Boston, he studied in France under Antoine-Jean Gros and established a studio in Paris. In 1840, the U.S. Minister to France, General Lewis Cass, introduced Healy to King Louis Phillippe, and his reputation was established in Europe. In all, Healy made thirty trans-Atlantic trips but settled in Chicago at the behest of a wealthy Illinois businessman, William Butler Ogden.