October 24, 1920

Garden of the Bahia (Palace), Marrakesh, Morocco 1920

Garden of the Bahia (Palace), Marrakesh, Morocco 1920

Tourist Hotel, Marrakesh
Dear Alta:

I wonder what has happened to you. I arrived here the 12th of September, and I’ve never had a letter from you yet. The Am. Ex. [people] forward any letter directly here, but nothing from a single relative as yet.

The weather is grand and glorious, just right for working, and I am very busy. I paint in the morning from 9 till noon and again after lunch till four and then from 5:30 to 6:30 a sunset thing.

I have been working in the Bahia [Palace], built by a Grand Vizier for a favorite wife… It is now the residence of Gen. Lyautey. He lives in Rabat mostly, but is coming today for a short stay in Marrakesh.

The Bahia is a most lovely and complicated place. There are about six open courts and gardens with fountain bowls in all of them. I have painted in one [court] where the foliage is dark and dense. There are orange, apricot, plum, grapefruit, lemon, pomegranate, and all sorts of nice trees and a trellis of grapes and another of sweet-smelling jasmine. Moorish arches open off it on all sides, some into rooms and one side into a big sunny court with no trees. The sweetest singing birds fly all about; they come right into your room; something like sparrows with light blue heads.

One room I have been trying to paint has white-washed walls and very tall pale red doors decorated very nicely; and alcoves, Moorish fashion, with bright cushions and striped rugs. The floor is blue and white small tiles of various shapes, making a nice pattern, and a fountain in the center.

There was an enormous garden outside of all sorts of fruit and nut trees, vanilla and everything, and date palms. It is now a French agricultural garden and is beautifully kept. There’s a big open cement basin of water in all these big places, built in nice shapes with walks around.

I have 3 pictures in the Salon d’Automne in Paris now. I had some in a Franco-American show in a Paris gallery not long since and got a good notice in the Sun-Herald of New York.

I hope you haven’t sent any money and it got lost. I see your letter [of July 29th] says you “sent $25 in one letter and 50 in the last but none in this. Will try to get the rest off soon.” If you haven’t sent it, it’s no matter. I have to sell a picture before I can ever get away from here anyway. Expect to go in Dec. or Jan. It costs a pile to get back to Paris. I pay 15 frs. a day here, which is considered cheap for these times. No comforts, but lodged and fed.

I hope you are all well. I haven’t written since I first came as I thought every day I’d hear from you, and there’s only candlelight at night and working all day I use my eyes up….