van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
London, 13 June 1873

Dear Theo,

My address is c/o Messrs. Goupil & Co., 17 Southampton Street, Strand, London. You must be eager to hear from me, so I will not keep you waiting any longer for a letter.

I hear from home that you are living with Mr. Schmidt now and that Father has been to see you. I certainly hope this will please you better than your former boardinghouse, and I'm sure it will.

I am very anxious for a letter; write me soon, and tell me how you spend your day, etc. You must tell me especially what pictures you have seen lately, and also if any new etchings or lithographs have been published. Let me know as much as you can about these things, for I do not see much of them here as it is only a wholesale house.

Considering the circumstances, I am doing pretty well. I am not so busy here as I was in The Hague; I work only from nine in the morning to six in the evening, and on Saturdays we close at four o'clock. I live in one of the suburbs of London, where it is relatively quiet. It reminds me of Tilburg or some such place.

I spent some very pleasant days in Paris, and, as you can imagine, I enjoyed all the beautiful things I saw at the exhibition and in the Louvre and the Luxembourg. The house in Paris is splendid and much bigger than I had thought, especially the one in the Place de l'Opera 1.

Life is very expensive here, my accommodation alone costs me eighteen shillings by week, washing excepted, and then I still have to take my dinner in the city. Last Sunday I went to the country with Mr. Obach, my principal, to Boxhill; it is a high hill about six hours by road from London, partially chalky and overgrown with box and on one side a wood of high oak trees. The country is beautiful here, quite different from Holland or Belgium. Everywhere you see charming parks with high trees and shrubs. Everyone is allowed to walk there. At Easter, I made an interesting excursion with the Germans, but these gentlemen spend a great deal of money and I shall not go out with them in the future.

I was glad to hear from home that Uncle Hein's health is good. Give him and Aunt my best and tell them something about me. Give my compliments to Mr. Schmidt and Eduard and write to me soon. À Dieu, best wishes,


  1. Goupil had three branches in Paris, the main branch was on the Rue Chaptal, another on Boulevard Montmartre, of which Theo became the head later on, and a third branch was on the Place de l'Opera.

At this time, Vincent was 20 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 13 June 1873 in London. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 009.

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