My dear Theo and Jo,
In the other letter I forgot to give you the address
here, which is temporarily Place de la Mairie, chez Ravoux.
Besides, when I wrote to you, I had not yet made anything. Now I
have one study of old thatched roofs with a field of peas in
flower in the foreground and wheat, background of hills,. A
study which I think you will like. And I
already feel that it did me good to go South, the better to see
It is as I thought, I see more violet hues wherever they
are. Auvers is decidedly very beautiful.
So much so that I think it will pay better to work than not
to work, in spite of all the bad luck with the paintings that
may be expected.
It is very colourful here - but there are such
pretty bourgeois country houses, much prettier than Ville
d'Avray, etc., to my thinking. Seems that Desmoulins, the
man who did Japan, was here, but has gone. So if you
can send me some money toward the end of the week, what I have
will last me till then, but I haven't any for a longer
These I need in any case so as not to waste time.
There is a lot to draw here. Dear fellow, having thought it
over, I do not say that my work is good, but the thing is that
I can do less bad stuff. Everything else, relations with
people, is very secondary, because I haven't the gift for that.
I can't help that.
Not working or working less would cost double,
that is all I can see. If we look for another road to success
than the natural road of work - which we shall hardly do. Look
here, if I work, people here are just as likely to come to my
house without my going to see them purposely as if I took steps
to make acquaintances.
It is by working that you meet people, and that is the best
way. Besides, I am quite convinced that this is your opinion
and Jo's too. I can do nothing about my illness.
I felt that in Paris and here too, but serenity will come as
my work gets on a bit. However that may be, I do not regret
being back, and things will go better here. I'll be very glad
if some time from now you were to come here one Sunday with
You will see clearly that in order to come to understand the
country and the way of life, seeing other countries as all to
But I find the modern villas and the bourgeois country
houses almost as pretty as the old thatched cottages which are
falling into ruin. Mmes. Daubigny and Daumier, they say, are
still staying here, at least I am sure that the former is.
When you can, you might send me Bargue's Exercises au fusain
for a while. I need it urgently, I will copy them so as to keep
the copies for good.
Very hearty handshakes,
At this time, Vincent was 37 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 21 May 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 636.
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