My dear Theo,
Thanks for your kind letter and the 100-fr. note
I am very glad of Gauguin's success in the matter of the
continuous sale. If he could have sold enough within a year
from now to execute his plan to go to settle in Martinique, I
should think his fortune would be made. Only, as I see it, he
oughtn't to risk returning there before he has saved 5000
francs; according to him he will need 2000. But to my mind in
that case he would not go away by himself but along with
another man or with other men, and would found a studio there
for good and all.
But oh well, till then a lot of water will flow under the
I am greatly interested in what you write about the
Dutchmen. I hope to meet both of them personally someday. How
old are they? I dare hope that ultimately they will find their
coming to France was a good thing.
Their having trouble with their colour - damn it - does not
surprise me; may De Haan never forsake the serious study
of Rembrandt which the two drawings I am looking at now
[Vincent drew a sketch of The Sower here.]
This is a sketch of the latest canvas I am working on,
another Sower. Immense citron-yellow disk for the sun. Sky
green-yellow with pink clouds. The field violet, the sower and
the tree Prussian blue. Size 30 canvas. Let's
quietly postpone exhibiting until I have some thirty size 30
canvases. Then we are going to exhibit them only once in your
apartment for our friends, and even then without exercising any
pressure. And don't let's do anything else.
There are quite a few reasons not to make a stir at present.
It won't be for long for that matter, I think that I shall be
able to send it to you around the time of the exhibition or
soon after. In the meantime it will dry thoroughly here, and
then I shall be able to put a finishing touch to all the
canvases, once they are thoroughly dry even in the thickly
At the age of forty when I make a picture of figures or
portraits in the way I feel it, I think this will be worth more
than a more or less serious success at present.
Have you see the studies that Bernard brought back from
Brittany? - Gauguin told me a lot about them. He himself has
one that is simply masterly. I think that buying one from
Bernard would mean doing him a service, and that he really
Only you must not forget to return to Gauguin, either at the
end of the year or in March, the money he may have spent, for
instance, on sheets and other things that are to remain in the
I think that on all counts it will be a good thing to alter
nothing, absolutely nothing, in the financial arrangement as it
is fixed. If after a year things are found to be going
satisfactorily, then we shall see.
Gauguin is working on a very beautiful picture of women
washing, and also on a large still life of an orange-coloured
pumpkin and apples and white linen on a yellow background and
Here the weather is cold, notwithstanding which one sees
very fine things. For instance yesterday evening an
extraordinarily beautiful sunset of a mysterious, sickly citron
colour - Prussian blue cypresses against trees with dead leaves
in all sorts of broken tones without any speckling with bright
You cannot imagine how much it pleases me that you have
painters staying with you, and that you are not living all
alone in your apartment, just as it pleases me very much to
have such good company as Gauguin's.
I shall write again soon, and once more thanks for your kind
Ever yours, Vincent
What do De Haan and Isaäcson say about Monticelli? Have
they seen other pictures of his than those in your house? You
know that I myself still have the pretension to continue the
job that Monticelli started here.
At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 25 November 1888 in Arles. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number .
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