van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
The Hague, 8 October 1882
Relevant paintings:

"People on a beach," Vincent van Gogh

"Miners in the snow," Vincent van Gogh

"Orchard in spring," Vincent van Gogh

Dear Theo,

Enclosed you will find a little sketch of a larger watercolour. I also started another one with many more figures, the last summer guests on the beach - an evening effect.

I do not know whether I shall be able to carry it out, but we must do what we can and struggle on until we reach our goal. The large one which I sent you a sketch of in my last letter is progressing.

I am sure you would like the things I am doing now. What you would notice at once, as I do, is that I need a lot of figure studies; therefore I am working with all my strength and have a model almost every day.

I have made even more studies of the old men, and this week I also hope to have a woman from the almshouse, but I am badly in need of some money; so many things are necessary. I also owe Stam something.

I can't get that churchyard with the wooden crosses out of my mind. Perhaps I shall make some studies of it beforehand. I should like to make it in the snow - a peasant's burial or the like - in short, an effect like the enclosed sketch of miners. To complete the seasons, I am sending you a little sketch of the spring and another of the fall; they came into my mind while I was making the first one.

How beautiful it is outside now! I try my best to catch the autumn effects. I am writing you in a great hurry. I can assure you those compositions with figures are no joke, and I am deep in my work. It is like weaving - one needs all one's attention to keep the threads apart - one must manage to keep an eye on several things at once.

The little drawing of the beach is more finished than the others because it has served me when doing the large one, whereas the others are less watercolour.

Well, I certainly hope that your own pocket is not too empty. Nature is so beautiful these days that I really must put some of it on paper.

Adieu, write as soon as possible, and believe me,

Yours sincerely, Vincent

[Sketch JH 227 enclosed with the letter]

At this time, Vincent was 29 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 8 October 1882 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 236.

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