van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 48 letters relate to business - selling...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(28 November 1885)
... and certainly doesn't look dreary. Now that I have the 3 studies I took along with me here, I shall try to make contact with the marchands de tableaux [picture dealers], who seem, however, to live for the most part in private houses, with no display windows giving on to the street. The park is beautiful too. I sat there one morning and did some drawing. Well - I've had no setbacks so far, and I'm well off as far as accommodation is concerned, for by sacrificing another few francs I've acquired a stove and a lamp. I shan't easily get bored, believe me. I've also found Lhermitte's Octobre, women in a potato field in the evening, splendid, but not his Novembre yet. Have you kept track of that by any chance? I've also seen that there's a Figaro illustré with a beautiful drawing by Raffaelli. My address, as you know, is 194 Rue des images, so please send your letter there, and the second de Goncourt volume when you've finished with it. Regards,...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(6-7 December 1885)
... seen from my window , two in the park. I have exhibited one of those at a dealer's. Further, I have given the ones I brought along from the country to two others on commission. At a fourth, I can exhibit a view of the quay as soon as the weather permits me to make it, because he had a Mols, along with which he could exhibit another one. Then I have got an address from this dealer, where he assured me I should be well received. Now these dealers are not the biggest ones in Antwerp, but at all their places, among many things I did not like, I saw things which pleased me: for instance one had a picture by Van Goyen and a study by Troyon; at another's I saw a Mols and small Dutch pictures; at another place there was that small picture I mentioned to you, like Raffaelli (it is by Moormans), and a few good watercolours; at another's I found various good marines by young Belgians. I saw very little of figure painting, and so I intend to try and do some. The address that dealer...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 15 December 1885)
... and went to show it to some dealers. Two of them were not at home, and one did not like it, and one complained bitterly that in a fortnight literally not a single person had shown his face in the store. This is not very encouraging, especially when the weather is chilly and gloomy, and when one has changed one's last 5-franc piece and doesn't know how to get through the next two weeks. Oh dear. Do try to keep me afloat these two weeks, for I want to paint some more figures. This morning I heard it said that some of those pictures I wrote you about had been sold privately - there was a rumour of 21,000 fr. I don't know if it is true, but at all events there was a crowd of spectators when I was there, and the exhibition for the raffle was also crowded. If there were more better things on view, more business would be done. But the shops have a desolate aspect. The picture of “Het Steen” is rather elaborate, and I shall make another one from a different spot on the...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(early January 1886)
... that there are some who want them. Today I spoke to a photographer's assistant, and asked him if he couldn't procure me orders for portraits. He wanted a commission for every woman he would bring to me for a portrait. I let the matter rest only in so far that I did not promise any commission before I knew my man somewhat better. But probably I shall see him again soon. And then I shall see if I can do anything with him directly, or if I shall go and speak to his boss; but sometimes the employee is better, it all depends. I told him now that I did not know him, and that I should like to see what he could do, but that it was a risk for me, because a portrait always entails expenses for me. Well, I shall see later on; but the most urgent thing is that I have some fine heads to show. I must also try to make acquaintances among the prostitutes, which is not a pleasant task when one has a purse with very little in it. I can assure you it is no pleasure then. But it is...
Lettre de Vincent van Gogh à Theo van Gogh
(26-28 February 1888)
... si tu jugeras que la manoeuvre soit juste ? Voici, j'ai pensé moi qu'il fallait faire un effort de ce côté parce que nous tiendrons Reid par v Wisselingh, et v Wisselingh par Tersteeg. Et c'est ce que tu expliqueras à Tersteeg toi-même. Je ne veux pas, moi étant nourri par toi, toi-même tirant tes propres revenus de la maison Boussod, Valadon & Cie., faire des choses contre la maison. Au contraire je ne demande pas mieux que ce que la chose que tu as commencée dans le magasin du boulevard, dure et prenne de l'importance. Mais il te faut du soutien d'autres employés de la maison. Si Tersteeg refuse de s'en mêler, il nous reste comme agents Anglais, Reid et Wisselingh. Tu sais que v. W. a marié la fille du marchand de tabl. à Glasgow, concurrent de Reid. Si Reid prend les impressionnistes, s'il trouve moyen de s'y lancer, et s'il cherche à faire cela contre nous autres, nous avons à partir de...

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