I suppose you already know that Father has refused the
living at Helvoirt.
I was not indifferent to the decision, as in no case would I
have gone with them to Helvoirt, and would either have stayed
here in my studio or gone to Antwerp. Now, as far as I can see,
it is, and will be, best for me simply to go on as I am, and to
Recently I really haven't been doing so badly. It is true
that I can't have any financial success with my work here, but
I am making really good friends here, who I believe will become
Last week I painted still life day after day with the people
who paint at Eindhoven.
That new acquaintance, the tanner whom I told you about,
applies himself wonderfully. But I, for my part, must do
something in return to keep up the friendship. But I don't see
that I am the loser by it, as I work with more animation when I
have some conversation.
Hermans has so many beautiful things, old jars and other
antiques, that I want to ask you if I could oblige you by
painting for your room a still life of some of these objects,
for instance of Gothic things - those I have done with Hermans
up to now are simpler in character. But just today he told me
that if I wanted to paint for myself a picture of things that
were still too difficult for him, I could take them with me to
the studio. Please give me an answer to this, and if you like,
I shall make one for you, and will pick out the best things. I
have finished a little one already. As to my asking you to send
me another 20 francs before the end of this month, I hope you
will do so.
I am getting on pretty well, but my expenses are not getting
smaller; but by working very hard now, I am making
Do help me by sending what I ask if it is at all possible.
Otherwise these last days of the month will be very hard for me
and the work will suffer more than is necessary.
And I will give it back to you in my work. That's all I can
say about it.
At all events, I will ask for those things of Hermans' and
make something for you; you will see for yourself what I told
you about the colour, that it is improving. I have also started
another watercolour of the water mill [F 1144a, JH 523]
Goodbye, with a handshake,
Ever yours, Vincent
I know that it is a hard time for you, but we must push on,
and sure enough there will be a change for the better.
At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. mid November 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 387.
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