van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
 
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Saint-Rémy, 7 December 1889
Relevant paintings:


"Olive Trees," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Vincent's Bedroom in Arles," Vincent van Gogh
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"Wheat Field behind Saint-Paul Hospital with a Reaper," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Enclosed Field with Ploughman," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Wheat Field with Cypresses," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Self-Portrait," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"The Mulberry Tree," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Trees in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Trees in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital," Vincent van Gogh
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"Road Menders," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]


"Two Peasants Digging (after Millet)," Vincent van Gogh
[Enlarge]

Letter 618
Saint-Rémy, 7 December 1889

My dear Theo,

Yesterday I sent off by post three packages, containing studies which I hope will reach you safely.

Among the studies you will find the following which are for Mother and our sister: “Olives”, “Bedroom”, “Reaper”, “Ploughing”, “Wheat Field with Cypresses”, “Orchard in Blossom”, “Portrait”. The rest are mostly studies of autumn, and I think that the best is the yellow mulberry tree against a bright blue sky - then the study of the house and the park, of which there are two variations. The studies, size 30 canvases, were not yet dry, and will follow later. They are giving me a lot of trouble, and sometimes I think they are very ugly, sometimes they seem good to me; perhaps you will have the same impression when you see them. There are a dozen of them, so it is more considerable than what I have just sent.

I have gone on working outside till now in spite of the cold, and I think it is doing me good, and the work too.

The last study I did is a view of the village, where they were at work - under some enormous plane trees - repairing the pavements. So there are heaps of sand, stones and gigantic trunks - the leaves yellowing and here and there you get a glimpse of a house front and small figures.

. I hope you are well. For myself I have nothing to complain of, I am feeling absolutely normal, so to speak, but without an idea for the future, and really I do not know what is going to happen, and perhaps I rather avoid facing this question, feeling that I can do nothing about it.

I have also finished the copy of the “Diggers” or nearly so.

If I want to send this letter off today, I must hurry, so a handshake in thought and kindest regards to Jo.

Ever yours,

Vincent


At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Source:
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 7 December 1889 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 618.
URL: http://webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/20/618.htm.

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