Letter T30 1
Paris, 29 March 1890
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
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
With best wishes,
Affectionately yours, Jo
Written in Dutch.
At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
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.
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