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. 5 April 1889)
... I have still to thank you for your last letter, as well as for the consignment of paints from Tasset and for several numbers of Le Fifre with drawings by Forain. These last especially had the effect on me of making me see my own stuff as very sentimental beside them. I waited several days before answering, not knowing which day you were leaving for Amsterdam. Besides I do not know either if you are getting married in Breda or in Amsterdam. But if as I am inclined to think it will be in Amsterdam, then I have assumed that you would find this letter there by Sunday. By the way - just today our friend Roulin came to see me. He told me to give you many greetings from him and to congratulate you. His visit gave me a lot of pleasure; he often has to carry loads you would call too heavy, but it doesn't prevent him, as he has the strong constitution of the peasant, from always looking well and even jolly. But for me, who am perpetually learning from him afresh, what a lesson for...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 13 April 1889)
... hope that everything has gone off well with you. Meanwhile I have been obliged to ask Tasset for 10 meters of canvas and some tubes. And I still need: 12 Zinc white Big tubes 1 Vermilion Big tubes 1 Emerald “ 4 Malachite green “ 2 Cobalt “ 3 Chrome 1 “ 2 ultramarine “ ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(22 May 1889)
... even without thinking about it These are the paints I need: 3 emerald green 2 cobalt 1 ultramarine 1 orange lead (big tubes) 6 zinc white 5 meters of canvas Thanking you for your kind letter, I shake your hand warmly, as I do your wife's. Ever yours, Vincent ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(25 June 1889)
... My dear Theo, Enclosed you will find an order for paints to replace the one in my last letter. We have had some glorious days and I have set even more canvases going, so that there are twelve size 30 canvases in prospect.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(2 July 1889)
... your parents assures long life. Thank you very much for the package of colours. Subtract them from the order sent since, but if you could manage it, not for the quantity of white. Thank you also very heartily for the Shakespeare. It will help me not to forget the little English I know, but above all it is so fine. I have begun to read the series of which I knew least, which formerly, distracted by other things or not having the time, I could not read; the series of the kings: I have already read Richard II, Henry IV and half of Henry V. I read without wondering if the ideas of the people of those times were different from our own, or what would become of them if you confronted them with republican and socialist beliefs and so on. But what touches me, as in some novelists of our day, is that the voices of these people, which in Shakespeare's case reach us from a distance of several centuries, do not seem unfamiliar to us. It is so much alive that you think you know them...

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