The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

Émile Antoine Verpilleux Letter to James Bolivar Manson 16 February 1914

The London-born Belgian painter and printmaker, Émile Antoine Verpilleux, stood for election to the London Group on 3 January and 7 February 1914 (TGA 806/10/6 and TGA 806/10/6). He was unsuccessful on both attempts, gaining 5 votes for and 6 against at the first election and 4 votes for and 13 against at the second. In this letter to the secretary of the group, James Bolivar Manson, Verpilleux writes that ‘the figures were a bit of a shock to me’, particularly as he had gained more votes in the first election than the second.

Helena Bonett
August 2011


[Handwritten:] Feb. 16th 1914
Dear Mr Manson.
 Of course I am sorry at my non-election to the London Group, but must thank you for the trouble you took in the matter. I must say the figures were a bit of a shock to me, & judging by the result of the previous election I do better by your recommendation, that [?on] the interest of my work, for I believe I had 6 votes 1st election
 I hope to spend a month painting in Holland from the beginning of March, & if I do anything good [end of p.1] would like you to come & spend an afternoon here to see stuff.
 I feel curious as to the main objection to my candidature at Fitzroy St. Am I overstepping the bounds of etiquette in asking you to give me a hint of it? I am naturally very [?interested] in my own work, & the verdict given of course is in the nature of a criticism & it would be helpful to know on what grounds it stands. Still I must not worry you with this as you have already taken a lot of trouble.
 I am not meaning in the slightest that I have lost confidence, for I am far too [?certain] of my [?own merits &] ideal but for that reason would like to know where the sympathy to aims, ends, between myself & fellow artists.
 Yours very sincerely
  E. Verpilleux

How to cite

Émile Antoine Verpilleux, Letter to James Bolivar Manson, 16 February 1914, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012,, accessed 22 May 2024.