Letter T 07
Paris, 8 May 1889
My dear Vincent,
Only a few words in a hurry to thank you for your last
letter, and to tell you that I don't look upon your going to
St. Rémy as a retreat, as you say, but
simply as a temporary rest cure in order that you may come back
after a short while with renewed strength. I remember seeing
something a long time ago which struck me very much. In the Rue
des Petits Carreaux (Little Tiles Street) I saw a very heavy
dray which had to go up the incline of that street. The
coachman whipped the four horses with redoubled lashes, but
nevertheless they absolutely refused to take another step
forward. So he let them turn around; and when he had gone back
to the bottom of the street, he turned around again, almost
without giving them a moment's rest, and went up to the top of
the street without difficulty.
You would greatly oblige me by letting me know how you are
treated in the establishment and how the food is, etc. Mr.
Salles spoke very well of what he had seen. This gentleman has
been extremely kind; he wrote me a long letter to give an
account of his visit. 1 As I cannot tell from your
telegram whether you have gone, I do not know whether he
accompanied you, as he proposed to do.
There is a very fine picture by Raffaelli at the Salon, two
absinthe drinkers. I think him most forceful when he paints
such déclassés, though the portrait
of the two young girls in white is perhaps the best portrait at
the Salon. Zorn has a picture of girls bathing on the beach,
which you remember. There is a “Birth of Christ” by
Uhde, a triptych, in which there is a pretty sentiment.
Otherwise there is very little of interest in the whole bazaar.
I quite agree with you that one should not believe exclusively
in impressionism, yet it is a fact that there is that
individual something in it which is missing in nearly
everything to be seen at the Salon.
I hope to see you soon, and keep well. A cordial
1. See Vincent letter 590.
At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Theo van Gogh. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. Written 8 May 1889 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number T07.
This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.