[Extracts from letters written by A. Bonger from Paris to
31 March 1885
I never accompanied a friend to the North Station under more
melancholy circumstances than a week ago last Friday.
In the morning my friend Van Gogh had heard that his father
had had a stroke of apoplexy and was dead. The day before he
had received a letter from him in which he told him that he was
in perfect health. Van Gogh is not very strong himself. So you
can well imagine in what condition he went away.
4 April 1885
Yesterday I spent the evening with my friend Van Gogh, who
was still very sad on account of his father's death. He is the
most sympathetic person I have had intercourse with in Paris.
He is a charming fellow to know. It is impossible to imagine
more entertaining company than his.
18 July 1885
If I live I hope to start for Lisle next Saturday; from
there I shall go to Antwerp via Brugge and Ghent, in order to
visit Van Gogh's family in Brabant, and from there I shall go
on to Amsterdam, where I think I shall arrive on Thursday night
or Friday morning. Reciprocally Van Gogh will probably look me
up in Amsterdam. It will give me a great deal of pleasure to
introduce my friend to you. He is a likeable and entertaining
25 August 1885
…Since our journey together Van Gogh and I have
become even more intimate friends than before. He is a person
who improves more and more on acquaintance, and whose qualities
of the heart and the head I learn to appreciate ever more. I am
very glad to hear that he made a good impression on you too. I
go to him rather often in the evening to read something or to
work. So far we have devoted our Sunday mornings to the
24 December 1885
It is certain that Mrs. Van Gogh and her daughter Willy will
go to Amsterdam in January. Though she may not call on you (she
broke her leg, and consequently she cannot climb stairs, or
only with great difficulty), you will certainly hear from her.
I feel sure that Mien will like the sister. It would give Van
Gogh and me a great deal of pleasure if you could get on with
each other. It is a family in which the same tone prevails as
At this time, Vincent was 32 year old
Andreis Bonger. Letter to His Parents. Written 1885 in Paris. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number htm.
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