[Letter to his friend `the land surveyor']
This morning I received your letter informing me of your
departure for the East Indies, which is to take place soon.
Little had I thought it would happen so soon. From the
bottom of my heart I hope that you will acclimatize yourself
successfully in the Indies. Perhaps this will be easier now
than if you had stayed in Holland for a long time, and had done
a lot of painting here. In such a case, if one had lost oneself
in the grey gloom of this country, it might be difficult to
enter into the character of the Indian scenery. But under the
circumstances, if you try hard to enter completely into the
character of the scenery there, I think you will succeed yet.
And who knows what curiously picturesque scenes you may find
Many French painters and others have felt the advantage of
going to Algeria or Egypt, and I have the impression that the
Indies will present similar effects to a certain extent.
Similarly, some painters went to China and Japan, and I have
seen excellent things from these countries.
It pleases me very much that you go on being warmly attached
to painting, and I believe that, provided you persevere, you
will go a long way. Especially as you will have to be outdoors
a good deal professionally.
With me things are going fairly well here in Brabant, at
least I find nature here very stimulating.
Now the last few weeks I have done four watercolours of
weavers. And some others of a lumber auction
and an interior with a little seamstress and a gardener,
all watercolours. Herewith some sketches of them.
[Sketch “Gardener with Wheelbarrow, JH 440]
Well, amice, I shall always remember with great pleasure
many a walk we took together last summer.
And be assured I shall never forget you, and you will
greatly oblige me by letting me hear something from you as soon
as you are over there. On my part I am going to send you a few
sketches of things I am working on.
And now I wish you a pleasant voyage and prosperity in your
enterprises, and particularly prosperity in your painting
With a handshake in thought,
Yours sincerely, Vincent
Kindly tell your father that I shall send him the money for
the bill outstanding and this order by January 20.
[“Interior with Woman Sewing, JH 441]
[Sketch “Weaver facing Left” JH 442]
At this time, Vincent was 30 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Furne. Written 3-16 January 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number .
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