The drawings for this month are still at Rappard's, else I
should have sent them to you already. And as Rappard intends to
come soon and stay with us for some time, I have asked him to
bring them with him then.
It gives me much pleasure that you wrote about Cor in the
way I learned from your letter to Father and Mother. How
fortunate that Braat is recovering - I trust you will have seen
in the meantime that in what you thought you had to write about
him you were radically wrong - am I right? I hope you will have
Further, I want to revert to what I wrote you about Rappard.
I do not think it necessary to talk much to him about you, as
long as you and I are not on better terms than we are at the
Now, just think whether it wouldn't be very unkind of you
toward him if you took no notice of his visit when he comes
here before long. Think over whether it is right that you, who
know Rappard, have seen nothing of his work, do not even know
what he makes except for what I tell you, that you do not take
the slightest notice of him. Yet he is one of the people that
will count - who will assert themselves - of whose work one
will have to take notice. At one time Rappard came to you, and
felt small in your presence because you knew so much about art.
Since that year he spent in Paris - what enormous progress he
I don't think you would regret it if you took my hint to
heart. I simply want you to renew the acquaintance with
There is all the more reason for it because he is more
advanced than I am. I say this simply to prevent your being
guilty of negligence.
I do not know what impression it would make on Rappard if I
told him what has been wrong between us recently.
But I know for certain that the work I showed him during
these last months pleased him. I should greatly prefer being
able to tell him that all was well between us.
But I shall not bore you with this. If you want to divide
art - by drawing sharp, straight, rigid lines - into things
that one may show in the full light of day and things that one
should calmly neglect with great singleness of purpose - well,
that's your affair.
And at the moment the whole question is so deeply repulsive
to me that I for my part will not expiate on it.
As to Rappard, it is curious what absurd things he sometimes
hears about his work, which he takes quite coolly. One must be
prepared for that, and have a certain self-confidence, so as
not to let oneself be confounded or upset. Friends whose
cordiality makes up for the bother the work causes are of great
value to a painter. If you should feel personal sympathy for
Rappard's work, he would certainly not feel indifferent toward
But he as well as I, we are getting more and more
disillusioned about finding sympathy, and are more and more
determined to persevere without minding what anybody says.
As for Mother, the fact is that there is nothing the matter
with her any more, except that she must learn to walk all over
again - and that the leg must be loosened up by means of
regular exercises. It might have been worse. Goodbye.
Yours sincerely, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written April 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 365.
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