van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
The Hague, c. 15-27 April 1882

Dear Theo,

Today I sent you a drawing, “Vegetable Gardens on the Laan van Meerdervoort.”[Drawing lost]

So now you have one of my figures and one of my landscapes, and I think you will see that I have made some progress.

Though this be “only black and white” and unsaleable??? and without charm??? I still hope there may be some character in it. And I think that instead of reproaching me for applying myself only to drawing things, this certainly proves that I am taking the most practical way. For it is easier to proceed from drawing to painting than, conversely, to make pictures without drawing the necessary studies.

How beautiful his picture for the Salon is!

But you understand these things yourself, so enough.

This little drawing also needs a narrow grey mount. You write that you have moved; I will do my best to make something for the walls of your new home now and then. I also have a few good wood engravings you could perhaps use if you like them, as I have duplicates of some good ones. But you must see and choose those for yourself when you come this summer.

I have not moved, but I have had an alteration made in my house, that is, I have had a little bedroom partitioned off in the attic; now I have more room in the studio, especially as the stove has been removed.

You see, there are a great many things in drawing which lots of people often overlook. There is the correct perspective of an interior, for instance (I will send you a specimen of that too, someday); there are the great lines of a landscape; and then I personally see no way to eliminate study of the nude.

All this is essentially drawing - once having fairly mastered this, one sees the way out; and I personally go quietly along this way, knowing that if only I persist, before long I shall overtake a few of those who think they can skip such things.

All good luck to you. The weather is very cold and windy here, and it worries me a great deal, as I cannot go on with the views of the city for C. M., which I would otherwise make between times; but surely the mild weather will come again.

With a handshake,

Yours sincerely, Vincent

This little drawing has caused me more trouble than has been expended on many a watercolour. I send it to the Bd. Montmartre1 because then you can have it pressed and mounted at once.

1. Theo's office.

At this time, Vincent was 29 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 15-27 April 1882 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 188.

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