Paris, 21 October 1889
My dear Vincent,
Enclosed please find 150 francs for Mr. Peyron and for your
travelling expenses to Arles. In my letters to Mr. Peyron I
said that he should tell me if there are any supplementary
expenses, but he never said a word about it. So be kind enough
to ask him to let me know every time he acknowledges receipt of
my monthly letter if there is anything owing him; in this way
the bill will not mount up. 1 I hope you are still
in good health, and that you are having luck with your work. I
have had quite a number of people calling on me to see your
work. Israël's son, who is staying in Paris for
some time; Veth, a Dutchman who paints portraits, and who
writes in the Nieuve Gids, 2 that periodical you may
have heard some talk about - it rouses the indignation of so
many people but there are often good things in it; and then Van
Rysselberghe, one of the Vingtistes of Brussels. The latter
also saw everything there is at Tangui's, and your pictures
seem to interest him quite a lot.
In Belgium people are already more accustomed to colourful
painting; in this respect the exhibition of the
“XX” has done a great deal of good, although they
are buying nothing over there. The exhibition of the
Independents is over and I've got your irises back; it is
one of your good things. It seems to me that you
are stronger when you paint true things like that, or like the
stagecoach at Tarascon, or the head of a
child, or the underbrush with the ivy in vertical format. The
form is so well defined, and the whole is full of colour.
I understand quite well what it is which preoccupies you in
your new canvases, like the village in the moonlight, but I think
that the search for some style is
prejudicial to the true sentiment of things. In the last
consignment of Gauguin's there is the same preoccupation as in
your things, but with him there are many more reminiscences of
the Japanese, the Egyptians, etc. As far as I am concerned I
prefer a Breton woman of the countryside to a Breton woman with
the gestures of a Japanese woman, but art knows no bounds, and
so one is allowed to do what one thinks one ought to do.
Guillaumin was in Auvergne last summer and has brought back
some good canvases from there. As for him, he does not strive
much for new effects in his colouration. He contents himself
with what he has found, and one always finds the same pink,
orange and blue-violet spots, but his stroke is vigorous, and
his view of nature is certainly broad.
Pissarro has gone away, and I suppose he is now occupying
himself with that worthy man at Auvers. I hope he will succeed,
and that we are going to see you next spring, if not earlier.
Jo is quite well; she is getting considerably bigger, and feels
life already, but this does not give her a too-unpleasant
Mother sent us a letter from Cor; he has arrived at
Johannesburg. It is a rather wild country, and one has to go
about with a revolver all day long. There is no vegetation
there, nothing but sand, except in the places which are oases.
My letter has to go off now. Jo gives you her kindest regards.
A cordial handshake.
See Vincent's letter 611.
Nieuve Gids [New Guide], the monthly magazine of
the then highly influential literary Movement of the
Eighties in Holland.
At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Theo van Gogh. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. Written 21 October 1889 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number T19.
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