van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 104 letters relate to health - general...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(15 October 1880)
... you will approve of what I have said. I think that lodgings and perhaps food somewhat better than that of the Borinage will also help to set me right again. For I have undergone some misery in the Belgian “Black Country,” and my health has not been very good lately. But if I can only succeed someday in learning to draw well what I want to express, I shall forget all that and remember the good side of things, which also exists if one looks for it. But still I must try to regain some strength, for I need all my energy. With a handshake, Vincent ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(early August 1881)
... that you hope to come back before very long. Of course I feel quite better now. The day after you left I stayed in bed, however, and had a long talk with Dr. Van Gent, a clever and practical man; not because I thought this insignificant malaise important, but rather because in general, either well or unwell, I like to talk with a doctor now and then, in order to know that everything is all right. If one occasionally hears a sound and true word about health, by and by one gets much clearer ideas about it; and if one knows what to do and what to avoid, one is not shaken like a reed by every wind and does not believe all the nonsense so often heard about health and ill health. For the rest, I am drawing the Exercices au Fusain on the Ingres paper you brought with you; it is difficult enough. It is much more inspiring to draw from nature than to copy such a page from the Bargues, but still I set myself the task of drawing them once more, and now for the last time. It would not ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(26 January 1882)
... of us know how to profit from every mood. Well, I have some hope that as soon as I am quite well again, things will go better than they are now. If I have to rest awhile, I shall, but probably it will soon be over. In general, I do not feel so strong as a few years ago; then I never had to stay in bed a day, but now there is always something the matter with me, although nothing serious. Well, my youth is gone - not my love of life or my energy, but I mean the time when one feels so lighthearted and carefree. I really say, So much the better, now there are much better things, after all. Keep heart, boy, I think it rather mean and cheap of Messrs. Goupil & Co. to refuse you when you wanted to draw some money. You certainly don't deserve such stinginess, for you have pulled many of their chestnuts out of the fire, and do not spare yourself. So you deserve to be treated with some consideration. A handshake in thought, I hope soon to have better news to tell you...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 23 May 1882)
... depends on: perspective and proportion. During the last fortnight I have been weak, not feeling well at all; I haven't given in to it and have gone on with my work. But, for instance, I have not been able to sleep for several nights, and have been feverish and nervous. But I force myself to keep going and working, for this is no time to get sick. I must go on. Christine and her mother moved to a smaller house because when Christine returns from Leyden she will come to live with me, wherever I may be, either in better or in worse circumstances. It is a little house with a courtyard ; I hope to make a drawing of it this week . Every day I see more clearly that the step I am taking opens an interesting field for drawing and getting models. This must also be taken into account when judging me. My profession allows me to undertake this marriage - I could not do it if I had another position. I am longing for your letter, and hope you will soon find time to write....
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(c. 10 June 1882)
... but they do not know everything yet. I am just weak and feeble, Theo, and I need absolute, absolute rest to recover, so everything that makes for peace is welcome. But I felt much worse than now before I was lying here, and please bear in mind that it is not at all serious, and only a short period of treatment will make me well again. I wanted to tell you the news about Father and Mother immediately, because I thought it would please you, too. Sien will probably go next Monday, for I think she is better off in the hospital now; she will be admitted about the middle of June. She wanted to stay here for me, but I wouldn't allow it. I have my books on perspective here, and a few volumes of Dickens, including Edwin Drood; there is perspective in Dickens, too. Good God, what an artist! There's no one like him. I hope my having to take a rest will have a good effect on my drawings; sometimes one gets a better view of things when one does not work on them for a...

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