My dear Theo,
This morning, at long last, the weather changed and turned
milder - and likewise I have already had an opportunity to
learn what a mistral is: I have been for several walks in the
country hereabouts but it is quite impossible to do anything in
this wind. The sky is a hard blue with a great bright sun which
has melted almost all the snow, but the wind is cold and so dry
that it gives you gooseflesh.
But all the same I have seen lots of beautiful things - a
ruined abbey on a hill covered with holly, pines, and grey
We'll have a try at that soon, I hope.
I have just finished a study like the one Lucien Pissarro
has of mine, but this time it is oranges.
That makes eight studies so far. But this
doesn't really count, because I haven't yet been able to work
in any comfort or warmth.
The letter from Gauguin which I meant to send you, and which
I thought for the moment had got burned with other papers, I
have since found, and am enclosing it. But I have already
written direct to him, and sent him Russell's address, also
Gauguin's to Russell, so that if they like, they can deal with
each other direct.
But how difficult for many of us - and assuredly we
ourselves are among the number - the future is! I firmly
believe in the ultimate victory, but will the artists
themselves gain any advantage from it, and will they see less
I can get everything now almost at the same
prices as in Paris. Saturday evening I had a visit from two
amateur artists, a grocer who sells painting materials as well,
and a magistrate who seems a nice fellow, and intelligent.
Worse luck, I can hardly manage to live any cheaper than in
Paris, I must figure it at 5 Fr. a day.
I have not yet found any sort of small place where I could
have private board and lodging, but all the same something of
the kind must exist.
If the weather is milder in Paris too, it will do you good.
What a winter! I dare not roll up my studies yet because they
are hardly dry and there are some bits of impasto which will
take some time to dry.
I have just finished reading Tartarin on the Alps, which
amused me hugely.
Has that confounded Tersteeg written you yet? All to the
good if he has. If he doesn't answer, he will hear of us all
the same, and we shall see to it that he can find no fault with
our actions. For instance, we will send a picture to Mrs. Mauve
in memory of Mauve, with a letter from both of us, in which,
supposing Tersteeg does not reply, we shall not say a word
against him, but we will manage to convey that we do not
deserve to be treated as if we were dead. But indeed, it is not
likely that Tersteeg will have any prejudice against us on the
Poor Gauguin has no luck. I am very much afraid that in his
case convalescence will last even longer than the fortnight
which he has had to spend in bed.
It would be some comfort, however, if one could think that a
generation of more fortunate artists was to come.
I wanted to write you at once that I am in hopes winter is
really over, and I hope that it is the same in Paris.
With a handshake,
Ever yours, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 34 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 9 March 1888 in Arles. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 467.
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