van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(28 May 1888)
... and others would not do so much. As for me, it worries me to spend so much money on myself alone, but the only way to remedy it is for me to find a woman with money, or some fellows who will join me to paint pictures. I don't see the woman, but I do see the fellows. If this will suit him, we must not keep him dangling. And this would be the beginning of an association. Bernard, who is also coming South, will join us, and truly, I can see you at the head of an Impressionist Society in France yet. And if I can be of any use in getting them together, I would willingly look upon them all as better artists than I. You must realize how it vexes me to spend more than they do; I must find some arrangement more advantageous both for you and to them. And it would be so in this case. Think it over carefully, but isn't it true that in good company you can live on little, provided you spend your money at home? Perhaps the time will come when we shall be less hard up, ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 15 June 1888)
... up against reality to become facts. I do not want to discuss Gauguin's project, having once thought the situation over this winter - you know the result. You know that I think a Society of Impressionists would be something of the same nature as the Society of the Twelve English Pre-Raphaelites, and I think that the artists would guarantee each other a livelihood, each consenting to give a considerable number of pictures to the society, and that the profits as well as the losses should be had in common. I do not think that this society would last indefinitely, but I think that while it lasted we should live courageously, and produce. But if Gauguin and his Jewish bankers came tomorrow and asked me for no more than 10 pictures for a society of dealers, and not a society of artists, on my word I do not know if I'd have confidence in it, though I would willingly give 50 to a society of artists. Isn't it a bit like Reid - why say that Gabriel de la Roquette is a...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(21 June 1888)
... there is the following passage in the letter: “I insist that, supposing the capital is got together, or half of it got together, your brother will exert his powers to lead the enterprise to success, and will be its director.” I know quite well that he also writes: “In principle I accept your proposition.” But I think it would be going a bit too far if we did not firmly point out to him that our proposal was meant without all those special considerations, and that we ourselves are too short of money to be able to risk anything but living together and sharing the monthly money. And it is true I did not know that he had such a big family; because of this he might prefer to stay in the North. The utmost one could do would be for me to leave the South and go and join him in Brittany, if this would solve his difficulties. And my longing to work in the South is naturally subordinate to the interests of fellows like him. For all that, one should...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(29 June 1888)
... be winter in the North in four months. And it seems so certain to me that two people doing precisely the same work ought, if circumstances prevent them spending more, to be able to live at home on bread, wine, and anything in short that you'd want to add. The difficulty is eating at home alone.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 7 July 1888)
... they will be criticized as hasty. I know also that I hope to stick to my argument of this winter, when we were talking about an association of artists. Not that I still have any great desire for it or hope to realize it, but as it was seriously thought out, it is our duty to go on taking it seriously and to retain the right to come back to the question. If Gauguin won't come to work with me, then I have no other means than my work to set against my expenses. This prospect is only moderately alarming. If my health does not betray me, I shall polish off my canvases, and there will be some that will do among them. I am almost reconciled to the orchard , the one not on stretchers, and its pendant with the stippling . They may pass muster in the crowd. But I have less trouble working in the full heat than I did in the spring. I shall soon send you some rolled-up canvases, and the others one by one, as it becomes possible to roll them. I should very much...

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