van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 30 letters relate to Theo - mistress...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(25 or 26 February 1883)
... me so because I couldn't get it right. I mentioned the good news about your patient, but her wanting to go back to her own country doesn't seem quite right to me; but as you say, little can be said about the future before she has recovered. May spring do her good! Well, boy, I am writing in a hurry, as I still have a great deal of cleaning up to do; I am so very happy about that improvement in the windows. As far as I can tell, it is quite effective. You will remember from your visit last summer that the light was too crude, and couldn't be changed. From this little sketch you will probably see how it can be varied infinitely, and that the effects one sees in little houses can be reproduced here. And the special advantage is that in the small houses one can't get the right distance for drawing the figures, and in the studio, one can. Adieu, with a firm handshake, Yours sincerely, Vincent I think tonight I shall probably dream of fellows in sou'westers...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 3 March 1883)
... are necessary to make it practical. Your patient will cause you a great deal of expense; if you can't send anything extra just now, I needn't stop working because of that. Besides, not long ago you did send something extra, so I want to emphasize that I should be able to pull through if necessary. But I have a burning desire to push on, and to make progress. There is another thing spurring me on, namely that Rappard is also working at top speed, more than he used to, and I want to keep up with him, because then we'll get on better together, and can profit more from each other's experience. He has painted much more than I, and has drawn longer, but we are both on just about the same level. I don't try to compete with him as a painter, but I won't let him beat me in drawing. I wish that in the future he and I should keep working in the same direction, that is, types from the people, scenes in a soup kitchen, hospital, etc. He has promised to come to see me one of these...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(11 March 1883)
... of the 9th of March, and for the enclosed. Is your patient improving? I hope in this case “no news is good news.” If it has been as cold in Paris as it was here last week, it cannot have agreed very well with her. When you say that you sometimes wish we could talk together more, about a variety of things in art, I for my part have that longing continually, and sometimes very strongly. So often I should like to know your opinion about this or that, about some studies, etc., for instance, if they might be of some use, or if it would be advisable, for some reason or other, to go more deeply into them. So often I should like to have some more information about things on which you are better informed than I, and I should like to know more about the state of things, I mean what kind of work the painters are producing. One can write about it to some extent, but writing takes time, and one cannot always get to it, nor can one go enough into detail. And just...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 21 March 1883)
... warm thanks for your letter and the enclosure. I was glad to hear some more details about your patient, the more so as the news seemed to be very favourable. What you write about her influence on other people is very charming. I believe such things are true, the influence exerted by a good person is sometimes far reaching. Curiously enough, it has been compared to leaven. Two good people - man and woman combined - with the same intentions and object in life, actuated by the same serious purpose, what couldn't they accomplish! I have often thought of that. For, by co-operating, the power of goodness is not just doubled, but multiplied many times, as by involution, to use a mathematical term. Well - your description of the house and its surroundings, the cabstand, is very good; it has a more characteristic setting than your other descriptions of the city; the cabstand is excellent, can I have that personage with the red nose pose for me someday? I am glad you...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(2 April 1883)
... friends. The thing is to keep on working. I am glad your patient is progressing, though slowly. It is beautiful spring weather here, the evenings are indescribably beautiful. If the weather is the same in Paris, it will do her good. Is she up already? Today I have the old man again, and must go and get my things ready. This week I met Van der Weele again, and also expect him here one of these days. Probably you will be very busy with the Salon. I suppose you can't tell me approximately when you will come to Holland yet, can you? Have a good time, and if you have a moment to spare, write me again. Adieu, with a handshake, Yours sincerely, Vincent Theo had lent some money to a cousin from the Indies. ...

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