My dear Theo,
During the journey I thought of you at least as much as I did
of the new country that I was seeing.
Only I told myself that maybe later on you will often
come here yourself.
Now I'll begin by telling you that there's at least 60
centimeters of fallen snow everywhere, and it is still falling.
Arles doesn't seem any bigger than Breda or Mons.
Before arriving at Tarascon I noticed a magnificent landscape
of immense yellow rocks, strangely intricate with the most
In the tiny valleys between these rocks were rows of
small round trees with foliage of olive-green or grey-green,
which could well be lemon trees.
But here in Arles the country appears flat. I saw some
magnificant red terrain planted with grapevines, with a
background of mountains of the most delicate lilac. And the
landscapes in the snow, with the summits white against a sky as
luminous as the snow, were just like winter landscapes done
by the Japanese.
Here is my address:
30 Rue Cavalerie,
(Departement Bouches du Rhône) Arles.
I have only taken a little trip into the town so far, since I was
more or less dog-tired last night.
I'll write soon. In an antique shop on the same
street that I went into yesterday, the man told me he knew of a Monticelli.
With a good handshake to you and our comrades.
Ever yours, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 34 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 21 February 1888 in Arles. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number 463.
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