van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
» Home < Previous   Next >
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Anthon van Rappard
The Hague, c. 28 June 1882

Amice Rappard,

Herewith I want to thank you for your last letter, which I certainly should have done sooner if I had not been upset recently. The fact is, you know, that I did not receive your letter in my studio but in the hospital, where I have been for three weeks now. Therefore your letter was doubly welcome to me during those days, and what you said about the drawings, which do not seem to have been very much to my worthy uncle's liking, pleased me doubly too.

Later on I heard from somebody else that they were not so bad after all, and that he had not meant to speak so harshly. Whatever the truth may be, the fact is that, while doing those drawings and later making some similar ones of the fish-drying barns on the dunes,

It is very pleasant here in this hospital; I am lying in a ward with ten beds, but, as I had to keep quiet, I have not been able to draw until today, and even now it is only a very faint and feeble start; I cannot do what I want and penetrate to the core of things.

But now I am allowed to go into the garden for an hour every day, and yesterday I started scribbling a little. And at least I am beginning to look at things again, though at first I felt too rotten even to use my eyes.

When I leave here, I shall have to go about my business very quietly for a while. Well, we shall see....

What I especially want to praise here is the treatment. If I ever happen to fall ill again, I should as little hesitate to go to a hospital as I did this time. In my opinion it is infinitely more practical than being ill at home, at least under circumstances such as mine.

Going by the way I feel, I am almost completely recovered, but the difficulty is that by moving about too much, taking long walks, etc., I may immediately have a relapse, which happened to me last week, and but for that I should be further ahead now.

As soon as I have a number of drawings again, as for instance the ones of the fish-drying barns or a charity court, I shall be most happy to send you some, which you may be able to sell. However, I shall not hurry, but rather wait until one of them turns out better than usual, for in that case I prefer sending it to you rather than to Amsterdam. Although I hope Amsterdam will come around again.

And let us agree that, if you do not succeed in selling it, you need not feel ashamed to return it to me, and you need not think it would discourage me, for such things do not succeed all at once. So whether it be the fault of my drawing or the fault of a possible buyer, let us agree on both sides that the miscarriage of our attempt (if it should fail) will not discourage us immediately.

As soon as I am at work again, I shall write you at an early date. Once more thanks for your letter, which I did not want to postpone answering any longer.

Meanwhile believe me,

Ever yours, Vincent

At this time, Vincent was 29 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written c. 28 June 1882 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R10.

This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.
» Home < Previous   Next >

or find:         Credits & feedback