I am enclosing a sketch of a picture which is one of those
I'm working on; this is an afternoon effect of trees in
blossom. There are three on the same subject
among the drawings you will get as
soon as Rappard comes here; what struck me in
reality was the remarkably quaint, half old-fashioned, half
rustic character of that garden. And I made three pen-and-ink
drawings of that same nook, besides several studies which I
destroyed, just because I wanted to render that character in
some intimate details, which are not expressed easily or
without effort or by chance.
If I, for my part, have some confidence in my own work, it
is also because it costs me too much effort for me to believe
that nothing will be gained by it or that it is done in
And I repeat, I shrug my shoulders at the banalities in
which most connoisseurs seem to indulge more and more.
Rappard was working on a few pictures which he saw a chance
of finishing with models he could get, so he wrote to tell me
that instead of coming at once, he will come in May, and
perhaps would ask then to be allowed to stay somewhat longer,
if it were convenient, because he intends to work a little
I wish he could come at the same time as you.
For the rest, if there is anything more than that, so much
the better, but one must think about it as little as possible.
But yet I believe the work must be seen, because the few
friends will sift down from that very stream of passers-by. But
one need not mind what people in general say and do.
Yours sincerely, Vincent
[Sketch, “Parsonage Garden with Trees in Blossom”
JH 476, enclosed in letter.]
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 366.
This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.