van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
» Home < Previous   Next >
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Anthon van Rappard
Nuenen, c. 18-20 January 1884

Amice Rappard,

I want to tell you in a few words something which our minds are full of these days. My mother had a pretty serious accident getting off the train - she broke her right thighbone.1 The setting of the fracture went off rather smoothly; she is quiet and does not suffer much pain. But I need not tell you that we are all greatly worried about it.

My mother will require a lot of nursing - the doctor assures us that she canrecover completely - but under the most favourable circumstances it will take at least half a year before she can walk again and even then that leg will be shorter than the other one.

Just imagine that at present there is no doctor here in the village (at least my father will have nothing to do with the one there is), and so a doctor from Eindhoven must come in a cab every now and then.

It certainly is a calamity - the consequences of which I think are hard to foresee. Well, of course we must live from day to day, as sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.

Fortunately she is quiet and clear-headed about it, so that she is co-operating to preserve the necessary calm.

Please write me soon. Have you started something new since I saw you?

I am still working on the weavers, but I'm afraid I'll be able to work only half time for a while on account of the unfortunate event, which has resulted in a lot of other things to do.

As I wrote you, I have done several watercolour studies direct from nature. I am going to start more elaborate watercolours after them, for I have to stay at home most of the time these days.

My mother and father join me in sending you kind regards. My mother had taken the train from Nuenen to Helmond in the morning just to do some shopping. As she was getting off the train in the station at Helmond, she seems to have missed her footing. They had to take her home by carriage. It is indeed fortunate that, considering this transportation, things haven't turned out much worse, and that the setting of the fracture went off so well (though it was bad enough, considered by itself). But all the same - a lot remains to be done.

Write soon if you can. With a handshake in thought,

Ever yours, Vincent

  1. See letter 352 to Theo of January 17, 1884.

At this time, Vincent was 30 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written c. 18-20 January 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R39.

This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.
» Home < Previous   Next >

or find:         Credits & feedback