van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
 
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Letter from Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh
Saint-Rémy, 29 March 1890
Relevant paintings:


"Blossoming Almond Tree," Vincent van Gogh
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"Corner in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital," Vincent van Gogh
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Letter T30 1
Paris, 29 March 1890

Dear Vincent,

Among all the letters from brothers and sisters which you will receive tomorrow, mine may not be wanting to wish you the best of luck, which I do at the same time on behalf of your little namesake, who cannot do so very well for himself as yet. What he does do is look at Uncle Vincent's pictures with a good deal of interest - the tree in blossom especially, which is hanging over his bed, seems to enthrall him - and further the Rembrandt, although I cannot assert confidently that it is not the gilt frame which attracts him in the latter case. I am happy to say he is growing well, and we long to show him to you. But being a father and a mother is quite an art - perhaps because I had to learn to get used to so many things in the course of that one year - for I never heard other people speak of it in the same way - they had a baby and then everything was all right and things straightened themselves out of their own accord - but it's not like that at all with me. What amazes me most is that such a little child has so much of a personality, against which you are utterly powerless. Now and then he looks at me as if he wanted to say, “What are you doing to me? - I know much more about things than you do.” His are the eyes of an adult and then with a lot of expression. Is it possible that he has the makings of a philosopher?

He does not allow his mother much leisure, but I managed to escape for a little while at the opening of the Independents to see your pictures there - there was a seat directly in front of them, and while Theo was talking to all sorts of people I sat there for a whole fifteen minutes enjoying the delicious coolness and freshness of the “Undergrowth” - it's as though I knew this spot, and had been there several times - I'm so fond of it.

Here is the height of summer - indescribably hot - and I dread the hot days yet to come. I know it sounds a bit like sacrilege now that there is that fine delicate haze of green all over the trees, but I prefer winter after all. I shall have to close this letter in a hurry, for Theo is waiting for it.

With best wishes,

Affectionately yours, Jo

  1. Written in Dutch.


At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Source:
Theo van Gogh. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. Written 29 March 1890 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number T30.
URL: http://webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/20/T30.htm.

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