van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Anthon van Rappard
The Hague, 21-28 March 1883

Amice Rappard,

I was at Van der Weele's last Sunday. I saw a picture of his there that was by far the most beautiful of his work that I know. It represented some sand carts near the edge of a canal or ditch - “In the Mist.” The subject, as well as the conception and execution, showed some affinity, perhaps, with Mauve's work. 1 It was done in the same vein, but had enough personality to be absolutely original, and distinctly his. The size was rather large. I am telling you this in order to state that in my opinion Van der Weele is one of the “rising men.” I wish you knew him personally; I think the wood engravings might easily lead to your getting acquainted. Either you could - sooner or later - take the sheets in question (the Herkomer, I mean, and what you may find besides) to him, or you could let him have them through me as intermediary, allowing me to mention that you are the donor, and to tell him that you have already seen some of his work and would like to get in touch with him - or something of the sort. I mean, in short, that if you could come into contact with him somehow, you would find him a man you'd like to keep in touch with, and you'd probably become real friends.

I sent you a roll of wood engravings today; they are the double-page engravings from the Graphic. I have some more, but some of them are unsuitable for rolling because tears in them have been repaired and they are mounted, and there are also less important ones. But first of all these are sheets I am sure you don't have, and they are such besides that, if you should have them, I could give them to Van der Weele. So please check whether or not you have them, and if so return them.

You can select the other ones later on; but seeing that, if you should come here, we should need all our time for other things too, I think it advisable to look over the most important wood engravings in this way. Then that part of the job at least is finished.

As soon as I have time I shall sort out the smaller ones too provisionally and send you those which I think you don't have for closer verification. For the present I am including only two of the smaller Lançons, which, as they are French, might slip my memory when I sort out the Graphics later on, and which you would undoubtedly like to have - unless you have them already. Isn't the “Boarding School” by Hol superb? And “Ploughing” and “Claxton [Caxton] Printing” by Small?

You are no doubt having winter weather again in Utrecht. Herewith a little scratch from my window. I think it such an enormously pleasant thing to be sitting by the fire in the twilight, looking out the window at a landscape in the snow.

Adieu, old fellow, a handshake in thought - write soon and believe me,

Ever yours, Vincent

  1. See letter 274 to Theo.

At this time, Vincent was 29 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written 21-28 March 1883 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R31.

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