I want to be sure you hear from me soon after your arrival
at The Hague. Lately we have had many pictures
and drawings here; we sold a great many, but not enough yet -
it must become something more established and solid. I think
there is still much work to do in England, but it will not be
successful at once. Of course, the first thing necessary is to
have good pictures, and that will be very difficult. Well, we
must take things as they are and make the best of it.
How is business in Holland? Here the ordinary engravings
after Brochard do not sell at all, the good burin engravings
sell pretty well. From the “Venus Anadyomene” after
Ingres we have already sold twenty épreuves d'artiste.
It is a pleasure to see how well the photographs sell,
especially the coloured ones, and there is a big profit in
them. We sell the Musée Goupil & Co. photographs
only en papillottes, on an average of a hundred a day.
I think you will like the work at the house at The Hague as
soon as you have got used to it. I am sure you will like your
home with the Roos family. Walk as much as your time will
allow. Give my best love to everybody at Roos's.
You must write me sometime whom you like best among the
older painters as well as among the moderns. Don't forget, as I
am curious to know. Go to the museum as often as you can; it is
a good thing to know the old painters also. If you have the
chance, read about art, especially art magazines, Gazette des
Beaux-Arts, etc. As soon as I have the opportunity, I will send
you a book by Burger about the museums at The Hague and
Amsterdam. Please send it back when you have read it.
Ask Iterson to write me when he has time, and especially to
send me a list of the painters who have won awards at the Paris
exhibition. Is Somerwill still in the office or did he leave
when you arrived?
I am all right. I have a pleasant home, and although the
house here is not so interesting as the one in The Hague, it is
perhaps well that I am here. Later on, especially when the sale
of pictures grows more important, I shall perhaps be of use.
And then, I cannot tell you how interesting it is to see London
and English business and the way of life, which differs so much
Give my compliments to everybody who
inquires after me, especially at Tersteeg's, Haanebeek, Auntie
Fie, Stockum and Roos; and tell Betsy Tersteeg something about
me when you see her. And now, boy, good luck to you, write to
Do you have my room at Roos's or the one you slept in last
At this time, Vincent was 20 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 19 November 1873 in London. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 012.
This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.