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I have waited too long to answer your last letter, and I
will tell you why. Let me begin by thanking you for your letter
and the 200 francs enclosed. And then I want to tell you that
today I just finished arranging a spacious new studio I have
Two rooms - a big one and a smaller one adjoining.
That kept me pretty busy these last two weeks. I think I
shall be able to work much better there than in the little room
at home. And I hope you will approve of the step I have taken
when you see it.
For the rest, I have been very busy painting the large study
of the weaver I told you of, and I have also
started to paint the little church steeple, you know.
What you write about the Salon is very important. As to what
you say about Puvis de Chavannes, I am very glad to see his
work thus, and I perfectly agree with your appreciation of his
talent. As to the colourists, after all I think the same as you
do about them. I can become quite absorbed in a Puvis de
Chavannes, but for all that I should feel exactly the same as
you do in front of a landscape with cows by Mauve, and
paintings by Maris and Israëls.
But you will see for yourself when you come here.
I have been so busy painting that lately I haven't made a
single drawing. Van Rappard writes me that he will come by the
end of this week; I am very glad.
Moreover I think he will come back this year for a longer
He is bringing a number of my drawings with him, which I
will then send on to you at once.
After some time, perhaps I shall agree with you that
last year's change has improved my position, and that it has
been a change for the better.
But I shall always regret that at the time I had to give up
a thing which I should have liked to carry through.
I think that Mother is getting on very well; yesterday she
came in her Bath chair to see my new studio.
Recently I have been getting on better with people here than
I did at first, which is of great importance to me, for one
decidedly needs some distraction, and if one feels too lonely,
the work always suffers from it; however, perhaps one must be
prepared for it not to last.
But I feel quite optimistic about it, it seems to me that in
general the people in Nuenen are better than those in Etten or
Helvoirt; there is more sincerity here, at least that is my
impression after having been here for some time.
It is true the people here look at things from a clergyman's
point of view, but in such a way that I, for my part, don't
feel any scruple in putting up with it.
And the Brabant of one's dreams, reality almost comes
very near it sometimes.
I admit that my original intention of settling in Brabant,
which came to naught, again has a strong attraction for me. But
knowing how such a plan can fail, we must wait and see whether
it would prove an illusion or not; well, for the present I have
enough to do. I again have space enough to be able to work with
a model, but there's absolutely no saying how long it will
Well, goodbye, the Salon will certainly give you a lot of
work, but for all that, it will be an interesting time too.
Once more, thanks for what you sent, which indeed I really
needed because of this change. I hope you will approve of it
when you see how I have arranged things. Goodbye, with a
Yours sincerely, Vincent
Love from all at home, they ask you to write to them.
At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 15 May 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 368.
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