Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (c. 26 September 1883) ... it will be
I take it so much to heart that I do not get on better with
people in general; it worries me a great deal, because so much
of my success in carrying out my work depends on it.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (c. 1 March 1885) ... And
that's saying a lot.
I, for my part, however,
am not the personality to have had
much chance of getting on a sufficiently intimate footing with
girls of that sort for them to be willing to pose for me.
Especially not with my own sisters.
And perhaps I am also prejudiced against women who wear
dresses. And my territory is more those who wear jackets and
skirts. But I think what you say true - namely, that they
can very well be painted, and that it has its raison
d'être as a reaction against the present-day Jacquets,
and Van Beers, etc. but - Chardin (let's summarize the aim of
that reaction in his name, Fantin Latour at least would approve
of this) was a Frenchman, and painted
“Françaises.” And in my opinion the
respectable Dutch woman very, very often lacks the charm
that French women frequently have. Consequently the so-called
respectable class of Dutch women is not so very particularly
attractive to paint, or to think...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh (5 or 6 September 1889) ... time, would perhaps be too foolhardy.
It's been six weeks since I put a foot outdoors, even in
the garden. Next week, however, when I've finished the canvases I'm
busy with, I'm going to have a go.
But another few months and I'll be so flabby and lethargic
that a change will probably do me a lot of good.
That's the way I'm thinking at the moment, though of course
nothing is settled.
But I do believe that one shouldn't stand on ceremony with
the people of this establishment, any more than of the
proprietors of a hotel. We have rented a room from them for a
certain length of time, and they are well paid for what they
provide, and that's absolutely all there is to it.
Not to mention that they might like nothing better than for
my condition to be chronic, and we would be unforgivably stupid
to gave in to them. They make far too many inquiries, to my
mind, not only about what I am, but also what you earn,
So let's not quarrel with them and simply...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Wilhelmina van Gogh (19 September 1889) ... together with that copy after Delacroix.
It is splendid weather outside - but for a long time - two
months to be exact - I have not left my room; I don't know
What I need is courage, and this often fails me.
And it is also a fact that since my disease, when I am in
the fields I am overwhelmed by a feeling of loneliness to such
a horrible extent that I shy away from going out. But this will
change all the same as time goes on. Only when I stand painting
before my easel do I feel somewhat alive. Never mind, this is
going to change too, for now my health is so good that I
suppose the physical part of me will gain the victory.
I embrace you in thought, and “see you
Written in French.
See letter 607 to Theo.