Auvers-sur-Oise, 28 June 1890
Copy of a letter which I gave to Dr. Gachet.
My dear Theo,
Yesterday and the day before I painted Mlle. Gachet's
portrait, which I hope you will see soon; the dress is pink,
the wall in the background green with orange spots, the carpet
red with green spots, the piano dark violet; it is 1 metre
high by 50 cm wide.
It is a figure that I painted with pleasure - but it is
He has promised to make her pose for me another time
at the small organ. I will do one for you -
And then there is this improvement, that in clothes you see
combinations of very pretty light colours; if you could make
the people you are walking past pose and do their portraits, it
would be as pretty as any period whatever in the past, and I
even think that often in nature there is actually all the grace
of a picture by Puvis, between art and nature. For instance,
yesterday I saw two figures: the mother in a gown of deep
carmine, the daughter in pale pink with a yellow hat without
any ornament, very healthy country faces, browned by fresh air,
burned by the sun; the mother especially had a very, very red
face and black hair and two diamonds in her ears. And I thought
again of that canvas by Delacroix,
“L'Éducation Maternelle.” For in the
expression of the faces there was really everything that there
was in the head of George Sand. Do you know that there is a
portrait - “Bust of George Sand” - by Delacroix,
there is a wood engraving of it in L'Illustration, with short
A good handshake in thought for you and Jo and good luck
with the little one.
Ever yours, Vincent
[Editors Note: The original letter is missing; the text here
is from a copy of the letter in Johanna's handwriting. The sketch
Vincent drew of Mlle. Gachet at the piano, F 2049, is recorded,
but its location (presumably with the rest of the original letter)
is unknown. Jo's copy has just a blank rectangle in its place.]
At this time, Vincent was 37 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 28 June 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number 645.
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