van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Nuenen, late May 1884
Relevant paintings:

"Weaver arranging threads," Vincent van Gogh

Dear Theo,

I want to tell you that Rappard has been here some ten days, and that he sends you his best regards.

As you can imagine, we paid many a visit to the weavers, and took many a trip to all kinds of beautiful spots.

He was greatly pleased with the scenery here, which I too am beginning to like more and more.

As he has brought the pen-and-ink drawings with him, I can send them to you now.

Since I made them, though it is a relatively short time ago, I have somewhat changed my technique.

Recently I have done nothing but paint.

And I am curious to know whether you will find something in it when you come.

Last winter you wrote that in my watercolours of that time you found some parts which you thought more satisfactory in colour and tone than before. And you said something like “if you stick to that.”

Now you will certainly see how very decidedly I shall stick to that, and how the qualities of those watercolours are even more emphasized in what I have painted since.

Just now I finished a figure of a weaver standing in front of a loom, and one sees the machine in the background.

And I am working on a view of the pond at the back of our garden! Rappard has made here a little study of a weaver, which I like very much, and a bust of a girl spooling yarn.

While he was here, I also made a weaver's cottage in the evening, again in the style of those cottages in Drenthe.

Rappard is going to paint a large picture of the fish market in Utrecht, with many figures.

I hope I shall be able to show you some of his work when you come here this summer. For he has promised to send me some of his things, as I shall do with mine, in order to have at least an idea of what each of us are doing.

I am very much pleased with the new studio, it is large and quite dry. I hope to hear from you soon, for the new studio has caused many expenses. But of course it is a great advantage not to have to pay for my board and lodging; otherwise I should not have been able to paint as much as I have recently. And when you come, you will see that this has helped me to make some progress.

At least this was Rappard's opinion, with whom I should not like to change places at present, as regards colour.

Goodbye, write soon, and believe me, with a handshake,

Yours sincerely, Vincent

The drawing Weaver is the drawing of the machine out of that picture I am working on; apart from the machinery there is also something of the effects, and light and brown, of the loom, etc., in it. But please don't think that this is the general effect of the painting. For the painting isn't so tame.

At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written late May 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 369.

This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.
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