My dear Theo and dear Jo,
After having made Jo's acquaintance, henceforth it will be
difficult for me to write only to Theo, but Jo will allow me,
I hope, to write in French, because after two
years in the Midi, I really think that I shall say what I have
to say more clearly this way.
Auvers is quite beautiful, among other things a lot of old
thatched roofs, which are getting rare. So I should hope that
by settling down to do some canvases of this there would be a
chance of recovering the expenses of my stay - for really it is
profoundly beautiful, it is the real country, characteristic
He piloted me to an inn where they asked 6 francs a day. All by
myself I found one where I will pay 3.50 fr. a day.
And until further notice I think I will stay there.
When I have done some studies, I shall see if it would be
better to move, but it seems unfair to me, when you are willing
and able to pay and work like any other labourer, to have to
pay almost double because you work at painting. Anyway, I am
going to the inn at 3.50 first.
Probably you will see Doctor Gachet this week - he has a very
fine Pissarro, winter with a red house in the snow, and two
fine bouquets by Cézanne.
Also another Cézanne, of the village. And I in my
turn will gladly, very gladly, do a bit of brushwork here.
I told Dr. Gachet that for 4 francs a day I should think the
inn he had shown me preferable, but that 6 was 2 francs too
much, considering the expenses that I have. It was useless for him
to say that I should be quieter there, enough is enough.
His house is full of black antiques, black, black, black,
except for the impressionist pictures mentioned. Nevertheless, he is
a stange fellow. The impression he made on me
was not unfavorable. When he spoke of Belgium and
the days of the old painters, his grief-hardened face became
smiling again, and I really think that I shall go on being
friends with him and that I shall do his portrait.
Then he said that I must work boldly on, and not think at all
of what went wrong with me.
I am so glad to have seen Jo and the little one and your
apartment, which is certainly better than the other one.
Wishing you good luck and health and hoping to see you
again soon, good handshakes,
At this time, Vincent was 37 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 20 May 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number 635.
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