My dear friend,
Enclosed is a letter which arrived yesterday, but which the
concierge didn't give me straight away.
I've been to the Tambourin, since if I hadn't gone, they
would have thought I was afraid.
And I told la Segatori that I wouldn't pass judgement on her
in this matter, but that it was for her to judge herself.
That I had torn up the receipt for the pictures - but that
she had to return everything.
That if she had not had a hand in what had happened to me,
she would have seen me the next day.
That as she didn't come to see me, my feeling was that she
knew they were trying to pick a quarrel with me, but that she
had tried to warn me by saying, “Go away,” which I
hadn't understood, and furthermore, perhaps didn't want to
To which she replied that the pictures, & all the rest,
were at my disposal. She maintained that it was I who had tried
to pick a quarrel - which doesn't surprise me - knowing that if
she sided with me they would take it out on her. I also saw the
waiter when I went in, but he made himself scarce. I didn't
want to take the pictures immediately, but I said that when you
returned we would discuss the matter because these pictures
belong to you as much as to me, and in the meantime I advised
her to think about what had happened again. She didn't look
well and was white as a sheet, which isn't a good sign. She
didn't know that the waiter had gone up to your place. If
that's true, I would be more inclined to believe she had tried
to warn me they were trying to pick a quarrel with me than that
she had plotted the whole thing herself. She cannot do as she
likes. I'm awaiting your return now before taking any
I've done two pictures since you left. Have only got two
louis left and I'm afraid I don't know how I'm going to manage
from now until your return.
Don't forget that when I started working at Asnières
I had plenty of canvases and Tanguy was very good to me. In
fact he still is, but his old witch of a wife realized what was
going on and complained. So I gave Tanguy's wife a piece of my
mind and told her that it was her fault if I didn't buy
anything more from them. Old man Tanguy is sensible enough to
keep quiet, and will do whatever I want anyway. But with all
this, work isn't easy.
I saw Lautrec today, he's sold a picture, through Portier I
think. A watercolour of Mme. Mesdag's has arrived which I find
very beautiful. 1
Now I hope you'll enjoy your trip over there, remember me to
my mother, to Cor & to Wil. And if you could manage, by
sending me something again, to ensure that I don't have too
hard a time from now until you get back, then I shall try to do
some more pictures for you - as I'm really very happy as far as
my work goes. What worried me a little about this business was
that it looked a little cowardly not going there, to the
Tambourin. And my peace of mind has been restored by my going
I shake your hand,
1. Probably “Grapes and Pears.”
At this time, Vincent was 34 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written Summer 1887 in Paris. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number 461.
This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.