van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 38 letters relate to art - supplies...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 12 October 1881)
... again a few times, a digger and a basket weaver. And then last week I received from Uncle in Prinsenhage a paintbox which is still very good, certainly good enough to begin on (it is Paillard's paint). I am very glad to have it. I at once started to make a kind of watercolour, like the sketch below [Painting lost]. [The second sketch in the above picture was drawn here.] I am very happy to get models. I am also trying to get a horse and a donkey.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 26 September 1888)
... Tanguy say of the gross-grained paints now? I think I must warn him at once that I still want 5 or even 10 meters of canvas. And that at the same time I shall also want: 3 large tubes as the silver white and the zinc white and the Prussian blue. 6 large tubes id. id. chrome I citron 6 “ “ id. id. chrome II 2 “ “ id. id. chrome III 6 “ “ id. id. malachite green and 6 medium tubes geranium lake 12 zinc white, large tubes 12 silver white This is approximately in proportion to the canvas. As I have just received the consignment of canvas and colours, you will understand that there is no hurry; however, it is the minimum that I shall need during autumn and the falling of the leaves, which will be marvellous and which lasts only one week. I am sure that I shall be able to do a good job of work, and during that period I should not like to run short of yellow and blue.
Letter from Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh
(27 October 1888)
... which she requested me to forward to you. Tasset will send you the paints and the canvas shortly. I hope to see you soon, and a cordial handshake to Gauguin. Theo 1. See Vincent's letter 557. ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 16 November 1888)
... take on a more mysterious character. Tasset's package arrived the day before yesterday, and we were very pleased with it. Could Tasset send besides - but it is urgent - one very big tube of vermilion (same size as the big flake white) and 3 tubes of Prussian blue of the same size? We should be tremendously obliged. I am glad Jet Mauve has written, and I venture to think that little by little they will come round to the impressionists after all. A handshake in thought for you, and my compliments to Haan and Isaäcson. Ever Yours, Vincent ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(24 March 1889)
... a relapse, and I pass on to something else. Before you leave, could you send me 3 tubes zinc white 1 tube same size cobalt 1 “ “ ultramarine 4 “ “ malachite green 1 “ “ emerald green 1 “ “ orange lead This in case - probable enough if I find a way of resuming my work again - I should set to work shortly on the orchards again. Oh, if only nothing had happened to mess up my life! Let's think well before going to another place. You see that I have no better luck in the South than in the North. It's pretty much the same everywhere. I am thinking of frankly accepting my role of madman, the way Degas acted the part of a notary. But there it is, I do not feel that altogether I have strength enough for such a part. You talk to me of what you call “the real South.” The reason why I shall never go there is above. I rightly leave that to men who have a more well-balanced mind, ...

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