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Though I have been expecting a letter from you every day, I
am writing you once more.
I heard some news of you from Mr. Tersteeg when he came back
from Paris. He told me that you were all right, and he seemed
quite satisfied with his trip. When I went to see him, I took a
few drawings with me; he said they were better than the others,
and told me to make some more small ones. I am busy with them
I also made a new pen drawing of an old woman knitting. And
I think this one is better than last summer's, at least it has
more tone. When I have finished a few pen drawings which are
well done, I think I know a purchaser for them.
A few days ago I also wrote C. M. to tell him that I have
taken a studio here, and that I hoped he would let me know
whenever he came to The Hague and that he would come to see me.
Last summer Uncle Cent also told me that whenever I had
finished a drawing somewhat smaller than those I was doing and
more watercolours, I must send them to him and he would buy
them. Perhaps the time is really not far off when I shall earn
some money with my work; I need to very much, for no other
reason than to go on working seriously.
You must tell me if you can find out what kind of drawings
the magazines would take. I think they could use pen drawings
of types from the people, and I should like so much to make
something that is fit for reproduction; I do not think that all
the drawings are made directly on the blocks - there must be
some means of getting a facsimile on the block. But I do not
know exactly what process is used. Sometimes I long so much to
see you and have a talk with you. Will it be long before you
can come to Holland? I think that Father rather expected you on
I was very glad that Mr. Tersteeg thought the drawings
somewhat better. Well, I am getting more used to my model, and
for that very reason I must continue with her. In the last two
studies I grasped the character much better - everyone who saw
them told me so.
At present I sometimes go out drawing with Breitner, a young
painter who is acquainted with Rochussen the same way I am with
Mauve. He draws very well, and in quite a different style from
mine, and we often make sketches together in the soup kitchen
or in the waiting room, etc. now and then he comes to my studio
to see wood engravings, and I go to see him too. He has the
studio that Apol used to have at Siebenhaar's.
Last week I went to a small art show at Pulchri, where I saw
sketches by Bosboom and Henkes. Very fine; Henkes had much
larger figures than one usually sees from him. He ought to do
more of them, I think. Weissenbruch has also been to see
Every day I look for a letter from you, for I hope that you
will send me some money soon. We must keep on and persevere,
brother, you as well as I, and someday we shall reap the fruit
I am so glad I have worked on the figure up to now. If I had
done only landscapes, yes, then I should probably do something
that would sell at a small price now, but then later I would be
stranded. The figure takes more time and is more complicated,
but I think that in the long run it is more worthwhile.
De Bock came to see me this afternoon, just as I was working
with my model. When he saw her, he said he would also like to
draw from the figure; but for all that, he doesn't do it. But
he made a very beautiful drawing recently.
In your last letter you told me something about the question
of your not being able to draw an advance before the inventory
was made. But if you cannot get the money, then be so kind as
to write at once to Mr. Tersteeg about it, for I have only
about 3 guilders left, and it is nearly the middle of February
At all events, I expect a letter from you one of these
I think that in my last drawings the proportions are much
better than before, which has been the worst fault in my
drawings up to now; thank God it is changing, and then I shall
not fear anything.
Adieu, Theo, write soon, a handshake in thought,
Yours sincerely, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 28 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 13 February 1882 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 174.
This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.