Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (c. 22 March 1889) ... me the right to go out into the town.
As far as I can judge, I am not properly speaking a madman.
You will see that the canvases I have done in the intervals are
steady and not inferior to the others. I miss the work
more than it tires me.
Certainly I should be pleased to see Signac, if he has to
pass through here after all. Then they must let me go out with
him to show him my canvases.
Perhaps it would have been a good thing for me to accompany
him where he was going, and if we had tried to find a new place
together, but there, there isn't much likelihood of that now,
so what's the use of his putting himself out on purpose to come
and see me?
There is one very good thing in your letter, where you say
that one must not let oneself have any illusions about
The thing is to put up with the real facts of your destiny,
and then there you are. I am writing in haste to send off this
letter, which will, however, perhaps only reach you on Sunday,
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (24 March 1889) ... to
theirs, but I do say parallel.
And that is what the first and last cause of my aberration
was. Do you know those words of a Dutch poet's - “Ik ben
aan d'aard gehecht met meer dan aardse banden”? [I am
attached to the earth by more than earthly ties.]
That is what I have experienced in the midst of much
suffering - above all - in my so-called mental illness.
Unfortunately I have a handicraft which I do not know well
enough to express myself as I should like.
I pull myself up short for fear of a relapse, and I pass on
to something else.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (26 March 1889) ... which often has to be of a petty nature.
Summarizing, I emphatically assure you that I found him in a
condition of perfect health and sanity. There is only one thing
he wishes - to be able to work in tranquillity. So do your best
to grant him this happiness. How dismal the life he is living
must be for him.
I shake your hand cordially, dear Mr. Van Gogh.
Letters to be called for at Cassis.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (29 March 1889) ... to give them my very best
These last three months do seem so strange to me. Sometimes
moods of indescribable mental anguish, sometimes moments when
the veil of time and the fatality of circumstances seemed to be
torn apart for an instant.
Certainly you are right after all, damn well right - even
allowing for hope, the thing to do is to accept the probably
disastrous reality. I am hoping once again to throw myself
wholly into my work, in which I've fallen behind.
Oh, I must not forget to tell you a thing I have very often
thought of. Quite accidentally I found in an article in an old
newspaper some words written on an ancient tomb in the country
between here and Carpentras.
Here is this very, very, very old epitaph, say dating from
the time of Faubert's Salammbô.
“Thebe, daughter of Thelhui, priestess of Osiris, who
never complained of anyone.”
If you see Gauguin, you should tell him that. And I thought
of a faded woman, you have...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Paul Signac (c. 10 April 1889) ... character of the seaside scenery there.
Since your visit my head has just about returned to its
normal state, and for the time being I desire nothing better
than that this will last. Above all it will depend on a very
sober way of living.
I intend to stay here for the next few months at least; I
have rented an apartment consisting of two very small