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Just now I received Gavarni, L'homme et l'oeuvre; thanks for
returning it. In my opinion Gavarni is a very great artist, and
certainly also very interesting as a man. Undoubtedly he now
and then did things that were not right, as for instance his
behaviour toward Thackeray and Dickens, but such things are in
the nature of all men.
Besides, he seems to have regretted it, for later on he sent
drawings to people whom he had not treated kindly enough at
first. And Thackeray himself behaved in a similar way toward
Balzac, and went even further, I think; but this does not alter
the fact that at bottom they were kindred spirits, even if this
was not always clear to themselves.
When I received the book this morning, I thought, “Now
Rappard will certainly not come himself, otherwise he would
have kept it until he arrived.” I hardly think it
necessary to assure you again that we should all be very happy
to have you with us once more, and that we sincerely hope that,
even if you do not stay long, you will not stay away
I am eager to hear something about your plans for the
winter. In case you go to Antwerp, Brussels or Paris, be sure
to look us up on your way there, and if you remain in Holland,
I shall not give up hope; in winter too it is beautiful here,
and surely we should be able to do something, if not outside,
then we could work with a model indoors, for instance in the
house of some peasant or other.
Recently I have been drawing from the model a good deal, for
I have found a number of models who are willing enough. And I
have all kinds of studies of diggers, sowers, etc., men and
women. At present I am working a good deal with charcoal and
black crayon, and I have also tried sepia and watercolour.
Well, I do not venture to say that you will see progress in my
drawings, but most certainly you will see a change.
Before long I hope to be able to pay another visit to Mauve
to discuss with him the question of whether I should start
painting or not. Once started, I shall carry it through. But I
want to talk it over with some people before starting. More and
more I am glad that I have specially set my mind on drawing
figures. For most certainly it indirectly influences landscape
drawing, because one learns to concentrate.
I should have liked to send you a few sketches, if I'd had
time, but I am busy with all kinds of things; later on,
however, you will get some. In case you do not stay in Holland,
please be sure to let me know your address, for in any case I
shall have quite a few things to write about during the winter.
Do you mind very much if I keep Karl Robert's Le fusain a
little while longer, because, you know, I need it so much, as I
am working with charcoal now; but when I go to The Hague I
shall try to get it myself. I should be very much surprised if
I did not stay quietly in Etten this winter - at least that is
my intention; in no case shall I go abroad. For I have made
rather good progress since I came back to Holland, not only in
drawing but also in other things. Well, I am going to toil on
here for a bit longer; I have been abroad for so many years, in
England as well as in France and Belgium, that it is high time
for me to stay here again for a while. Do you know what is so
superb these days? - the road to the railway station and to De
Leur with those old pollard willows; you have a sepia of it
yourself [F 995, JH 056]. I can't tell you how beautiful those
trees are just now. I made about 7 large studies of some
I know for sure that, if you could come one of these days
while the leaves are falling, even if it were for only a week,
you would make something beautiful of it. If you care to come,
we shall all be delighted.
Kind regards from my parents and a handshake in thought from
me, and believe me
Ever yours, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 28 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written 12 October 1881 in Etten. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R01.
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