Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (7 January 1889) ... the sick that one learns
how to live.
I hope I have just had simply an artist's fit, and then a
lot of fever after very considerable loss of blood, as
an artery was severed; but
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (c. 15 March 1890) ... try to write, it will come
little by little, the thing is that my head is so bad, without
pain it is true, but altogether stupefied. I must tell you that
there are, as far as I can judge, others who have the same
thing wrong with them that I have, and who, after having worked
part of their life, are reduced to helplessness now. It isn't
easy to learn much good between four walls, that's natural, but
all the same it is true that there are people who can no longer
be left at liberty as though there were nothing wrong with
them. And that means I am pretty well or altogether in despair
about myself. Perhaps, perhaps I might really recover if I were
in the country for a time.
My work was going well, the last canvas of branches in
blossom - you will see that it was perhaps the best, the most
patiently worked thing I had done, painted with calm and with a
greater firmness of touch. And the next day, down like a brute.
Difficult to understand, things like that, but alas! it's like
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to his mother (c. 10-14 July 1890) ... brieven, die mij recht veel
genoegen deden. Tegenwoordig voel ik me kalmer dan
verleden jaar en werkelijk de onrust in mijn hoofd
is zoo veel bedaard. Ik heb trouwens wel altijd dat
geloofd dat het terugzien van de omgeving van vroeger
dat zou uitwerken.
Dikwijls denk ik aan u beiden en zou wel erg graag
u nog eens terugzien.
Erg goed dat Wil in het hospitaal is gaan werken, en dat
zij zegt de operaties vielen me mee, juist omdat zij
apprecieert de middelen om de smart te verminderen en het
eropuit zijn van veel dokters om hetgeen gedaan moet worden,
eenvoudig en verstandig en met goedheid te doen - wel dat noem
ik de dingen goed aankijken en - vertrouwen.
Maar juist voor de gezondheid zoals ge zegt, is het erg nodig
in den tuin te werken en de bloemen te zien groeien.
Ik voor mij ben geheel geabsorbeerd in de onafzienbare vlakte met
korenvelden tegen de heuvels, groot als een zee, fijn geel,
fijn zacht groen, fijn paarsch van een omgewerkt
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to his mother (c. 10-14 July 1890) ... which gave me a
great deal of pleasure. For the present I am feeling much
calmer than last year, and really the restlessness in my head
has greatly quieted down. In fact, I have always believed that
seeing the surroundings of the old days would have this
I often think of you both, and should very much like to see
you once again.
It is good that Wil went to work in the hospital, and that
she says that the operations were not as bad as she expected,
because she appreciates the means of lessening the pain and
also the efforts of the many physicians to do what has to be
done, simply and intelligently and kindly - well, that is what
I call looking at things sensibly - and trustingly.
But for one's health, as you say, it is very necessary to
work in the garden and to see the flowers growing.
I myself am quite absorbed in that immense plain with wheat
fields up as far as the hills, boundless as the ocean, delicate
yellow, delicate soft green, the delicate purple...