van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Nuenen, mid December 1884

Dear Theo,

Enclosed you will find a few scratches of the heads I am working on; I scratched them in a hurry, and from memory.

I told you how little money was left for this month; you know how last month it was about the same.

The fact is that now more than ever, I paint as long as I have money for models.

Those last days of the month when I sometimes must stop working on things I want to finish - I can't tell you how impatient and wretched it makes me.

I must make about 50 of those heads while I am still here, and while I can get, relatively easily, all kinds of models during the winter months. But now - if I don't take care, the winter months will pass without my making as many as I want and as are necessary.

That's the reason why I am harping on it so much, and must urge you most strongly to try, if only half possible, to cover my expenses of the end of this month.

I do not need much, 20 or 30 francs will pretty well see me through.

At the moment they are worth more to me than 50 francs later on.

By working on steadily, those fifty heads will be finished this winter. But they require so much work and drudgery that I can't spare a day.

And I hope it will be a means to making an arrangement between you and me which is better for both parties than the present one.

Goodbye, if you have borrowed or can borrow, help me with it. As I didn't want to have all my colour bills at the end of the year, I have already paid part of them this month, as I told you. But I cannot bear to have the work suffer for it.

I received from Rappard a series of drawings by Renouard, “Le Monde Judiciare,” types of lawyers, criminals, etc.

I do not know if you have noticed them, I like them very much. And I think he is one of the genuine race of the Daumiers and the Gavarnis.

Yours, Vincent

At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written mid December 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 389.

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