Thanks for the letter I received this morning. Yesterday I
saw the Corot exhibition. In it was the picture, “The
Garden of Olives”; I am glad he painted that. To the
right, a group of olive trees, dark against the glimmering blue
sky; in the background, hills covered with shrubs and a few
large ivy-grown trees over which the evening star shines.
At the Salon there are three very fine Corots; the best of
them, painted shortly before his death, “Les
Bûcheronnes” [female woodcutters], will probably be
reproduced as a woodcut in L'Illustration or Le Monde
Of course I have also been to the Louvre and the Luxembourg.
The Ruysdaels at the Louvre are splendid, especially “Le
Buisson,” “L'Estacade,” and “Le Coup de
Soleil.” I wish you could see the little Rembrandts
there, “The Men of Emmaus” and its counterpart,
Some time ago I saw Jules Breton with his wife and two
daughters. His figure reminded me of J. Maris, but he had dark
hair. As soon as there is an opportunity I will send you a book
of his, Les Champs et la Mer, which contains all his poems. He
has a beautiful picture at the Salon, “St. John's
Eve.” Peasant girls dancing on a summer evening around a
St. John's fire; in the background, the village with a church
and the moon over it.
Dansez, dansez, oh jeunes filles,
En chantant vos chansons d'amour,
Demain pour courir aux faucilles,
Vous sortiez au petit jour.
There are now three pictures of his at the Luxembourg:
“A Procession among the Cornfields,” “Women
Gleaning” and “Alone.” À Dieu.
At this time, Vincent was 22 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 31 May 1875 in Paris. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 027.
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