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As you see, I am writing you from The Hague.
I have been here since Sunday. You know Mauve had planned to
come and stay in Etten for a few days. I was afraid that
something would prevent it or that the visit would be too
short, and I thought, I will try it in another and I hope
I said to Mauve, Do you approve of my coming here for a
month or so, and occasionally troubling you for some help and
advice? After that I shall have overcome the first petites
misères of painting, and then I shall go back to the
Well, Mauve at once sat me down before a still life with a
pair of old wooden shoes and some other objects, so I could set
to work. And I also go to him for drawing in
I am staying in a little inn near Mauve, where I pay 30
guilders a month for a room and breakfast. So if I may count on
the 100 fr. from you, I can manage.
Perhaps Mauve will soon write you himself.
“Meanwhile” I have been to Amsterdam. Uncle
Stricker was rather angry, though he gave vent to it in more
polite words than “God damn you.” But nevertheless
I am not sorry I paid that visit. What must be done now? For
you know that I came back no less in love than I went, but not
because she had encouraged me; on the contrary, she made me for
a moment - or rather, for twenty-four hours - profoundly
miserable, but when I thought it over I seemed to see some
light after all. When I thought it over, I say, and somewhat
more seriously than romanticism or sentimentality would allow.
But it looks less and less like gathering strawberries in
spring; well, the strawberries will no doubt come in due
I also went to see Mr. Tersteeg, and among the painters I
met (the merry) Weissenbruch and Jules Bakhuizen, and De
In short, Theo, I think I shall daily become more realistic
in everything. Thank God she is something very real, too.
Mauve and Jet send you their compliments, believe me,
Yours sincerely, Vincent
P.S. As soon as Mauve allows it, I will send you another
drawing; but he says that I must keep all my studies,
especially those of the figure. But within a relatively short
time, Mauve says, I shall learn to make little
At this time, Vincent was 28 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 1-3 December 1881 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 162.
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