Here are two more cartes-de-visite, to give you an idea of
that decoration for Hermans, of which these two paintings are
Right now Rappard is here and sends his regards. He has made
a very beautiful study of a girl's head, and one of a farmyard,
and two small ones of ox wagons. And he intends to make several
more that will follow.
I am working on the figure of a shepherd with a wide cloak,
which is of the same size as the woman spinning.
And in addition, a study of two pollard willows, with the
yellow leaves of poplars behind, and a glimpse of the
It is extraordinarily beautiful here at present, with the
autumn effects. In a fortnight's time we shall have the real
chûte des feuilles [fall of leaves] when all the
leaves on the trees fall off in a few days.
If I have some luck with that shepherd, it will become a
figure in which there will be something of the very old
Brabant. In short, it is not ready yet, and we shall see
how it turns out.
I think you might have just replied in a few words to what I
wrote the other day, if only to clear up your own ideas
perhaps. For my part, in spite of much old and new sorrow, I
feel less and less doubt about my own future, both as to my
work and as to myself.
But I know that in both respects I shall have a hard fight,
that both my work and myself will meet with much opposition,
will make a bad impression in many cases, though not
And as to my work, every day I become keener on it, and I
get back my high spirits, as if I were twenty.
By all means I must manage to go to Antwerp sometime; often
enough in the past I sold things that the experts had declared
unsaleable. If I wanted to sell a thing then, it did not
always fall through, if I really wanted someone to take a
certain thing. And perhaps you are right, that I had better
find my own way for my work, and in short, become my own
Yours sincerely, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 22? October 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 382.
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