Highlighting feelings - loneliness - Turn off highlighting
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.
Of course it causes me a great deal of worry and makes my
life far from easy when those whom I thought I could depend on
for sympathy, like Mauve and Tersteeg, become indifferent or
hostile and spiteful. I have not heard anything from Mauve; one
day he is ill, and then again he needs rest, or he is too busy.
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
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
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.
This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.