van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
The Hague, 17 March 1873

Dear Theo,

It is time for you to hear from me again. I am longing to hear how you and Uncle Hein are, so I hope that you will be able to find time to write me.

I suppose you have heard that I am going to London, probably very soon. I do hope that we shall see each other before then. If there is any chance, I shall go to Helvoirt at Easter, but that depends on Iterson, who is away on business. I cannot go away before he comes back.

It will be quite a different life for me in London, as I shall probably have to live alone in rooms. I'll have to take care of many things I don't have to worry about now.

I am looking forward very much to seeing London, as you can imagine, but still I am sorry to leave here. Now that it has been decided that I shall go away, I feel how strongly I am attached to The Hague. Well, it can't be helped, and I intend not to take things too hard. It will be splendid for my English - I can understand it well enough, but I cannot speak it as well as I would wish.

I heard from Anna that you had your picture taken. If you have one to spare, don't forget me.

How is Uncle Hein? Not better, I am afraid. And how is Aunt? Can Uncle keep himself busy, and does he suffer much pain? Give him my warmest regards. I think of him so often. How is business? I think you must be rushed with work; we certainly are here. You must feel at home in the business by this time.

How is your boardinghouse - does it still please you? That's an important thing. Be sure to tell me more about the pictures you see. A fortnight ago I was in Amsterdam to see an exhibition of the pictures that are going from here to Vienna. It was very interesting, and I am curious to know what impression the Dutch artists will make in Vienna. I am also curious to see the English painters; we see so little of them because almost everything remains in England.

In London Goupil has no gallery, but sells only directly to art dealers. Uncle Vincent will be here at the end of this month, and I am looking forward to hearing more particulars from him.

The Haanebeeks and Aunt Fie always ask how you are and send you their best wishes. What delightful weather we are having! I enjoy it as much as I can; last Sunday I went out boating with Willem 1. How I should have liked to stay here this summer, but we must take things as they are. And now adieu. Best wishes and write to me soon. Say goodbye for me to Uncle and Aunt, Mr. Schmidt and Eduard. I am looking forward to Easter.

Always your loving brother, Vincent.

Theo, I just received your letter, many thanks. I like the photograph very much, it is a good likeness. I will let you know as soon as I know something more about my going to Helvoirt; it would be nice if you could come on the same day. Adieu.

  1. This was Willem Valkes, a cousin of the Roos family and a fellow boarder with Vincent.

At this time, Vincent was 19 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 17 March 1873 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 005.

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