It is time that you heard from me again.
You must know that Rappard has been here for about twelve
days, and now he has gone. Of course, he sends his best
regards. We have taken many long walks together - have been,
for instance, several times to the heath, near Seppe, to the
so-called Passievaart, a big swamp. There Rappard painted a
large study (1 meter by 50cm.) in which there was much that was
good. Beside that, he did about ten small sepias, also in the
While he was painting, I made a drawing in pen and ink of
another spot in the swamp, where all the water
lilies grow (near the road to Roozendaal). We also went to
Prinsenhage together, but Uncle was ill in bed again. I think
Rappard makes progress in his work. From what he told me, he
has got a nicely furnished studio at home. Now this week he is
going to Loosdrecht, where he intends to stay a month. He too
works regularly and hard.
I bought Cassagne's Traité d'Aquarelle and am
studying it; even if I should not make any watercolours, I
shall probably find many thing in it, for instance, about sepia
and ink. For until now I have drawn exclusively in pencil
accented and worked up by the pen, sometimes a reed pen, which
has a broader stroke. What I have been doing lately demanded
that way of working, because the subjects required much
drawing - drawing in perspective, too, for instance, a
few workshops in the village here, a forge, a carpenter's shop
and the workshop of a maker of wooden shoes.
Willemien has left now, and I am sorry; she poses very well
- I made a drawing of her and of another girl who stayed here.
I put a sewing machine into that drawing. Nowadays
there are no more spinning wheels, and it is a great pity for
painters and draughtsmen; but something has come in its place
that is no less picturesque, and that is the sewing
What about your coming here this summer, is there any chance
of its really happening? I hope so.
Rappard seems to have a boat of his own there at Loosdrecht;
that must be fine.
From Loosdrecht he intends to go to Gelderland.
He would very much like to meet you, and I promised him that
if you came and I knew it beforehand, I should let him know,
because he would then try to arrange to meet you.
I do not know whether he intends to go back to Paris; he did
not speak of it at all. Nor do I know if this is a sign that he
does not think about it, or that, on the contrary, il couve son
projet [he hatches his plans]. When I think that he is only
twenty-three years old, and more things of that sort, I should
not be surprised if the latter were the case.
I hope you will write me if you can spare a moment. If you
could by any chance send me the Salon's catalogue, I should be
greatly obliged to you.
Rappard told me he was going to buy all Cassagne's books. He
has trouble with his perspective, and I know of no better
remedy for this ailment; at least, if I am quite cured of it, I
shall have those books to thank for it - that is to say, I put
into practice the theory they contain. However, practice is a
thing one cannot buy along with books; if that were so, there
would be a larger sale of them, I suppose.
And now adieu, with a handshake,
Yours sincerely, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 28 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written June 1881 in Etten. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 146.
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