van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
 
» Home < Previous   Next >
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Nuenen, c. 15 May 1884
Relevant paintings:


"Seine with the Pont de Clichy," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Langlois Bridge at Arles with Road alongside the Canal," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]

Dear Theo,

I have waited too long to answer your last letter, and I will tell you why. Let me begin by thanking you for your letter and the 200 francs enclosed. And then I want to tell you that today I just finished arranging a spacious new studio I have rented.

Two rooms - a big one and a smaller one adjoining.

That kept me pretty busy these last two weeks. I think I shall be able to work much better there than in the little room at home. And I hope you will approve of the step I have taken when you see it.

For the rest, I have been very busy painting the large study of the weaver I told you of, and I have also started to paint the little church steeple, you know.

What you write about the Salon is very important. As to what you say about Puvis de Chavannes, I am very glad to see his work thus, and I perfectly agree with your appreciation of his talent. As to the colourists, after all I think the same as you do about them. I can become quite absorbed in a Puvis de Chavannes, but for all that I should feel exactly the same as you do in front of a landscape with cows by Mauve, and paintings by Maris and Israëls.

But you will see for yourself when you come here.

I have been so busy painting that lately I haven't made a single drawing. Van Rappard writes me that he will come by the end of this week; I am very glad.

Moreover I think he will come back this year for a longer time.

He is bringing a number of my drawings with him, which I will then send on to you at once.

After some time, perhaps I shall agree with you that last year's change has improved my position, and that it has been a change for the better.

But I shall always regret that at the time I had to give up a thing which I should have liked to carry through.

I think that Mother is getting on very well; yesterday she came in her Bath chair to see my new studio.

But I feel quite optimistic about it, it seems to me that in general the people in Nuenen are better than those in Etten or Helvoirt; there is more sincerity here, at least that is my impression after having been here for some time.

It is true the people here look at things from a clergyman's point of view, but in such a way that I, for my part, don't feel any scruple in putting up with it.

And the Brabant of one's dreams, reality almost comes very near it sometimes.

I admit that my original intention of settling in Brabant, which came to naught, again has a strong attraction for me. But knowing how such a plan can fail, we must wait and see whether it would prove an illusion or not; well, for the present I have enough to do. I again have space enough to be able to work with a model, but there's absolutely no saying how long it will last.

Well, goodbye, the Salon will certainly give you a lot of work, but for all that, it will be an interesting time too.

Once more, thanks for what you sent, which indeed I really needed because of this change. I hope you will approve of it when you see how I have arranged things. Goodbye, with a handshake,

Yours sincerely, Vincent

Love from all at home, they ask you to write to them.


At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Source:
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 15 May 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 368.
URL: http://webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/14/368.htm.

This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.
» Home < Previous   Next >

 
or find:

webexhibits.org/vangogh/         Credits & feedback