I want to chat with you before going to Scheveningen. I have
gained my point with De Bock and have my pied-à-terre at
his home; perhaps I shall also go to Blommers's occasionally.
Now I intend to work principally in Scheveningen for some time,
to go there early in the morning and stay there all day, or, if
I must be at home, to be there at noon when it is too hot, and
go back again in the evening. I trust this will give me new
ideas and rest, not through idleness but through a change of
surroundings and occupation.
For the rest, I am up to my ears in work. Today the
almshouse man again posed for a thing that I suddenly felt I
had to make before I started anything else. I must tell you
that I went to the almshouse again on a visiting day after all.
Then I saw the little old gardener, and have drawn him from the
Well, I could not let that go, and I have got as much of it
fixed on paper as I can remember.
Last evening I received a present which pleased me
enormously (from those two land surveyors - for there has been
a second one since), namely a very characteristic Scheveningen
jacket with high turn-up collar, picturesque, faded and
I arranged my painting materials as far as I could, added
what was necessary and laid up a stock of streetcar tickets,
This morning I saw the negatives of the three photographs. I
long to see the prints and I hope that in this small size they
will be useful when we approach the illustrated press. I think
I will also have a photo taken of today's drawing of that
little gardener, for that figure is much, much more elaborate
than in this scratch, and the surroundings are much less tame
than they are here. I hope to be able to send you the prints of
the photographs next week.
But, boy, I must ask you to try your utmost to send me some
money; I am already penniless because of those expenses that
were absolutely necessary for starting work in
It needn't be much, but a little to get through the days and
not to sit in the dunes without a penny to bless myself
The photographs are “Sower,” “Potato
Diggers,” and ”Peat Cutters”; I think the
last one is the best.
Don't you think it nice of those land surveyors? They are
jolly, merry fellows, who have often been good company to me.
They are really beginning to make nice sketches, but both have
to take their final exams - one, for land surveyor, and the
other, for civil engineer.
As soon as I have looked around Scheveningen a little, I
shall take the woman with me occasionally, to pose or at least
to indicate the place and the size of the figures.
I long so much for your coming, boy, I hope there will be a
few things in my work which you will like, and that you will
see some progress. De Bock saw some of last year's painted
studies and liked them, but they please me less and less. I
hope to make better ones this year.
The photographer will come to the studio next Sunday. I want
to discuss with him which of the figures I have are most
suitable for photographing. I should be at a complete loss if
you absolutely could not send anything extra. I bought only the
things strictly necessary for the paintbox, but hardly anything
The Scheveningen jacket is a piece of good luck.
Some time ago I wrote you that perhaps it would be the same
with me now as it was when I lived in The Hague years ago, that
at first it was a miserable time but that later it became more
pleasant; and now it has become better and more pleasant again.
Now, adieu. Do what you can, and believe me, with a
Yours sincerely, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 30 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 13 July 1883 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 300.
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