I received your letter from Brussels. I do not like it at
all, but no matter, for as you said yourself, you wrote it at a
moment when you were somewhat abnormal. There is nothing, or
hardly anything, in your letter that holds water. However, I am
glad you are back from Brussels. In my opinion you do not
belong there, and as for the “technical
proficiency” you hope to acquire at the academy, I am
much afraid your hopes will be deceived. Not even fellows like
Stallaert can teach one.
Now I am busy with all kinds of work, for I have rented a
small studio that I shall move into by January 1, so I have to
arrange a lot of things.
When I have quieted down a bit later on, I shall write you
again about all sorts of things in a calmer vein, but don't
take it ill of me if at present I have more serious things to
do than write letters.
Of course my letters don't pretend to be invariably right,
always to explain things correctly - oh no, I am often
mistaken. But when I tell you, Rappard, that those academic
fellows you are making so much of aren't worth a cent - and
when I say this, I mean Stallaert and Severdonk - I am in dead
earnest, and I tell you, If I were you, I'd let them go. But I
have already told you so several times, and I won't repeat it.
I won't hear another syllable about the whole academy, nor will
I say another syllable about it - it really isn't worth the
trouble. Herewith I send you my greetings - what kind of
fellows are those artists with whom you drank a glass of
lambiek 1 - why don't you mention the names of some
of them? Are they fellows who might be important to you? I hope
so, but I doubt it very much - goodbye, old fellow, I have no
more time to spare, nor do I feel inclined to write a longer
letter. When you are back in your studio, be sure to work
regularly with models; it will give you more satisfaction in
the long run.
Well, well - cheerio.
In case you want to write me again, you can send your
letters to Etten; they will send them on to me. I am wavering
between two or three studios, and before January 1st
I shall decide which one to take, but for the moment I have no
fixed address; you will get it later on.
have settled down here, and I am glad I am in different
surroundings. Of course, now I have rather a lot of financial
worries, but after all it is better than those everlasting
bickerings and squabbles.
1. A kind of very strong, twice-fermented, rather
sour-tasting beer, a specialty of Flanders.
At this time, Vincent was 28 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written 30 December 1881 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R07.
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