I congratulate you with all my heart on the silver medal you
received in London. It is a satisfaction to me to know that I
said what I did about that picture at the time. And I repeated
it only a short while ago, I mean during that conversation on
Friday when I said, “I have found something in the
colour of that picture of the `Woman Spinning' that
seems better and sounder to me than what I have
seen you paint here.”
Yet the “Little Weaver” is another exception to
this, which I also stipulated at the time.
Starting a picture in a low pitch, and then trying to
elevate it from this low key upward - I found this system in
the “Woman Spinning” at the time, although it was a
very original method of doing things. I reminded you of that
picture that Friday. “There are prodigious forces in
it,” I said. And that is what I have missed now and then
in your later work.
I think of your visit here with great pleasure, and I don't
doubt that the more you come here the more you will feel
attracted to nature.
Since your departure I have been working on a water mill [F
048a, JH 488] - the one I inquired about in that little bar
near the station, where we sat chatting with that man who I
told you seemed to labour under a chronic shortage of small
change in his pocket.
It is the same motif as the other two water mills we went to
look at together, but this one has two red roofs, and
you see it right from the front - with poplars around it. Even
in autumn it will be superb.
Thanks for sending off the books.
Perhaps my brother Theo will come here during
Whitsuntide, but not for longer than that, and only if he can
manage to have the two days off. He will be delighted to hear
you have been awarded a prize, as we all are.
Adieu. Write soon. Believe me, with a handshake,
Ever yours, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written late May 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R50.
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