I intended to answer your letter many days ago, but I could
not bring myself to write, as I sat painting from morning to
evening, and thus the time passed. I imagine that, like me,
your thoughts are much with Jo and Theo: how glad I was when
the news came that it had ended well: it was a good thing that
Wil stayed on. I should have greatly preferred him to call the
boy after Father, of whom I have been thinking so much these
days, instead of after me; but seeing it has now been done, I
started right away to make a picture for him, to hang in their
bedroom, big branches of white almond blossom against a blue sky.
I thank you very much for the news about Cor, don't forget
to give him my regards when you write him. I suppose you will
be back in Leyden by now. These last days we have had rather
bad weather here, but today it was a real spring day, and the
fields of young wheat, with the violet hills in the distance,
are so beautiful, and the almond trees are beginning to blossom
I was rather surprised at the article they wrote about me.
Isaäcson wanted to do one some time ago, and I
asked him not to; I was sorry when I read it, because it is so
exaggerated; the problem is different - what sustains me in my
work is the very feeling that there are several others doing
the same thing I am, so why an article on me and not on those
six or seven others, etc.?
But I must admit that afterward, when my surprise had passed
off a little, I felt at times very much cheered by it;
other prices, also those in Holland, this is little, but
therefore I try to be productive to be able to go on working at
a reasonable cost. And if we have to try to earn our bread with
our hands, I have to make up for pretty considerable expenses.
The letter from you and Wil has just arrived, many thanks for
it; I'd have written you before, but as I said, my head felt so
little like writing because of rather hard work.
Now I am strongly inclined to take advantage of my good luck
in selling this picture by going to Paris to visit Theo. And
thanks to the physician here, I shall leave feeling calmer and
healthier than when I came. Trying how it goes outside a
hospital is perhaps only natural.
Though work may perhaps be more difficult when I am free
Well, let's hope for the best. It is curious that my friend
with whom I worked for some time in Arles should want to go to
Antwerp, and that way I should be a little nearer to all of
you. But I am afraid this is not quite practicable, also
because I think it would be more expensive, and when one is
used to the climate here, perhaps one's health might not be
able to stand being back in the North. But I will begin by
trying it a few weeks in Paris.
An embrace in thought.
Your loving Vincent
The “Red Vineyard,”, bought
by Miss Anna Bock.
At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to His Mother. Written c. 20 February 1890 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 627.
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