Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (12 February 1883) ...
[Written at the top of the letter] Until today every night
or morning when I woke up, my eyelids were stuck together
because of the discharge, but last night for the first time
both eyes were all right. Otherwise nothing was apparent except
for the whites being somewhat muddy and bloodshot and what they
call bags (?) under the eyes, but this is as good as gone,
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (16 October 1888) ... shaping up. For today I
am all right again. My eyes are still tired but then I had
a new idea in my head and here is the sketch of it. Another size 30
canvas. This time it's just simply my bedroom ,
only here colour is to do everything, and giving by its
simplification a grander style to things, is to be suggestive
here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, looking
at the picture ought to rest the brain, or rather the
The walls are pale violet. The floor is of red tiles.
The wood of the bed and chairs is the yellow of fresh
butter, the sheets and pillows very light greenish-citron.
The coverlet scarlet. The window green.
The toilet table orange, the basin blue.
The doors lilac.
And that is all - there is nothing in this room with its
The squareness of the furniture again must express
inviolable rest. Portraits on the walls, and a mirror and a
towel and some clothes.
The frame - as there is no white in...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (17 October 1888) ... nothing, only flat colours in harmony.
I do not know what I shall undertake next, for my eyes are
still tired even yet.
And in just such moments after hard work - and all the more
the harder it is - I feel my own noodle empty too, you
And if I let myself go, nothing would be easier than to
detest what I have just done, and kick my foot through it a few
times, like old Cézanne. After all, why kick my foot
through it - let's leave the studies in peace, even if one sees
no good in them; and if we see something that may be called
good, well, so much the better.
And after all, don't let's meditate on good and bad too
deeply - they're always relative.
That is exactly the fault of the Dutch, to call one thing
absolutely good and another absolutely bad. Nothing in the
world is as hard and fast as that.
By the way, I have read Richepin's Césarine too;
there are some very good things in it, that march on the
retreating soldiers, how one feels their...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Paul Gauguin (17 October 1888) ... was like Japan yet! Childish, wasn't it?
Listen, the other day I wrote you that my eyesight was
strangely tired. All right, I rested for two and a half days,
and then set to work again, but without daring to go out into
the open air yet. I have done, still for my decoration, a size
30 canvas of my bedroom with the white deal furniture that you
know . Well, I enormously enjoyed doing this
interior of nothing at all. Of a simplicity à la
With flat tints, but brushed on roughly, with a thick
impasto, the walls pale lilac, the ground a faded broken red,
the chairs and the bed chrome yellow, the pillows and the sheet
a very pale green-citron, the blanket blood red, the washstand
orange, the washbasin blue, the window green. By means of all
these very diverse tones I have wanted to express an
absoluterestfulness, you see, and there is no
white in it at all except a little note produced by the mirror
with its black frame (in order to get...