van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
 
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Arles, 10 May 1888
Relevant paintings:


"Pink Peach Tree in Blossom (Reminiscence of Mauve)," Vincent van Gogh
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"Langlois Bridge at Arles with Women Washing," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Langlois Bridge at Arles," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Peach Tree in Blossom," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"The White Orchard," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Orchard with plum trees," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Orchard with Peach Trees in Blossom," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]

My dear Theo,

I have already written you once in Brussels, to tell you that I hoped you would be able to send me some more money at the latest on your return to Paris. You see, I have had to pay the whole bill provisionally, so as to get hold of my belongings, though I stipulated on the receipt that this exorbitant bill should be gone into before the magistrate.

I am not sure of winning, though I have undoubted right to a 27 franc deduction, and even then I have no compensation for all the worry which this has caused me. First I had a period of absolutely absorbing work, then I was so exhausted and so ill that I did not feel strong enough to live alone, and I let things slide too much. . But in the end it will be for the best, because all this has driven me to take this decision. I consider that I am after all a workman, and not a coddled foreigner travelling for pleasure, and it would be feeble of me to let myself be exploited as such. So I am beginning to set up a studio which can likewise be used by the other fellows if one of them comes along or if there were painters here.

The first thing you will find in the case are the pictures I did for Jet Mauve and Tersteeg. If meanwhile you have come to the conclusion that Tersteeg would be offended by it, if in short I had better have nothing to do with him, then keep it yourself and you can scrape off the dedication, and we can exchange it for something by one of the comrades.

As for the copies of these two studies, I think that the bridge is better than Tersteeg's, but that the study for Jet Mauve is simpler than the copy.

Perhaps this copy will improve in time. I have worked on it a lot.

Next the series of orchards - I think that the white orchard of which I sent you a pen drawing, and the biggest one in pink and green on absorbent canvas, are the best.

A big study without stretchers and another one on stretchers, in which there is a lot of stippling, are unfinished, which I regret, for the composition gave the general effect of the big orchards here surrounded by cypresses. I have already written you what I think of them and you will have them soon, since the case will be leaving this evening.

With a handshake,

Ever yours, Vincent

I think that as for frames, the two yellow bridges with the blue sky would do well in the dark blue they call royal blue, the white orchard in cold white, the big pink orchard in a rather warm creamy white.


At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Source:
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 10 May 1888 in Arles. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 486.
URL: http://webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/18/486.htm.

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