Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (22 January 1882) ... carry out; but it cannot all be done at once. You
know my clothes are chiefly old things of yours which have been
altered for me, or a few have been bought ready-made and are of
poor material. So they look shabby, and especially all my
dabbling in paint makes keeping them decent even more
difficult; it is the same with boots. My underwear is also
beginning to fall apart. You know that I have been without
means for a long time already, and then many things get
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (c. 14-18 March 1882) ... that will put 30 guilders in my pocket. If something from you
were added to that, I would risk buying a few shirts and
drawers which I need very, very badly, seeing that the shirts,
etc., I own are really getting into a deplorable state and I
have only a very few of them.
Since I wrote to you I have been working with the same
models the whole time and I must say I'm glad to have found
them. I am busy drawing heads, and I urgently need to draw
hands and feet as well (but it can't be done all at once). And
when summer comes and the cold is no longer a handicap, I must
needs in one way or another do some studies of the nude. Not
exactly academic poses. But I would, for example, be
tremendously pleased to have a nude model for a digger or a
seamstress. From the front, from the back, from the side. To
learn to see and sense the shape properly through the clothes
and to have an idea of the movement. I estimate that about 12
studies, 6 men, 6 women, would throw a lot of light on...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (3 June 1882) ... a
chance to get even better results.
I should be very pleased if you perhaps had in your wardrobe
a discarded coat and pair of trousers fit for me. For when I
buy something, I do my best to get things which are as
practical as possible for working in the dunes or at home, but
my street clothes are getting very shabby. And though I am not
ashamed to wear common clothes when I go out to work, I am
ashamed indeed of gentlemen's clothes that have a shabby
genteel air. But my work clothes are not untidy at all, just
because I have Sien to take care of them and make the necessary
I close this letter by repeating that I hope so much the
family will not regard my relation with Sien as an intrigue,
which it isn't at all. This would disgust me beyond words, and
raise the barrier between us still higher. What I hope is that
people with a certain untimely wisdom will not meddle in order
to prevent my living with her. You speculated about an
inheritance, but that...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (26 July 1882) ... you to see Tersteeg or Mauve, etc.
and then, I am so used to my working clothes, in which I can
lie or sit on the sand or the grass, whichever is necessary
(for in the dunes I never use a chair, only an old fish basket
sometimes); so my dress is a little too Robinson Crusoe-like
for paying calls with you.
I tell you this before your visit so that you may know that
I will not be any trouble to you, but for the rest you will
understand that I actually long for every half hour that you
can spare. I think we shall feel easier with each other if
we stick to the subject of painting and drawing, and talk
especially about that. But if there is nothing else which
bothers or worries you, then remember I haven't a single secret
from you and you have my full confidence in everything.
I am also very anxious to show you the wood engravings. I
have a splendid new one, a drawing by Fildes, “The Empty
Chair of Dickens,” from the Graphic of 1870 .
I could have bought...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (5 or 6 August 1882) ... and had to be replaced by a stronger one.
I bought a pair of strong and warm trousers, and as I had
bought a pair of strong shoes just before you came, I am now
prepared to weather the storm and rain. It is my decided aim to
learn from this painting of landscape a few things about
technique which I feel I need for the figure,
namely to express different materials, and the
tone and the colour. In one word, to express the
bulk - the body - of things. Through your coming it became
possible to me, but before you came there was not a day when I
did not think in this way about it, only I should have had to
keep exclusively to black and white and to the outline a little
longer. - But now I have launched my boat. Adieu, boy,
once more, a hearty handshake and believe me,