My dear Theo,
Many thanks for your letter, which gave me great pleasure,
I have a new drawing of a garden full of flowers, and two painted studies
You will see from this sketch the subject of the new
studies. There is one vertical and another
horizontal of the same subject, size 30 canvases.
There really is a subject for a picture in it, as in other
studies that I have. And I truly can't tell if I shall ever
paint pictures that are peaceful and quietly worked out, for it
seems to me it will always be headlong.
Have you had any news of Gauguin? I wrote him myself last
week to ask how his health was and how the work was going. No
reply from Russell, who cannot be in Paris according to what
McKnight says; he has returned with Bock. Still a frosty
silence about my work when they come.
What you write about Reid isn't very cheering either. At
times he would talk so much about turning painter and going off
to an aunt in the country that it is just possible he may be in
the act of carrying this plan out. What does Maria say? but
perhaps she has disappeared too.
All the same, I think that the continual wind here must have
something to do with the haggard look the painted studies have.
Because you see it in Cézanne too.
What must make it easy for the Japanese to cram their works
of art into drawers and cupboards is that the kakemonos can be
rolled up, but our paintings cannot, for they would end up by
scaling off. Nothing would help us to sell our canvases more
than if they could gain general acceptance as decorations for
middle-class houses. The way it used to be in Holland.
Down here in the South it would do one's heart good to see
pictures on the white walls. But go and look - everywhere great
coloured Julien medallions - horrors. And alas, we can do
nothing to change this state of affairs.
However - there are the cafés - perhaps later on
we'll get to decorate them.
Good-by for now - with a handshake.
Ever yours, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 19 July 1888 in Arles. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 512.
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