I can hardly call it friendly that you haven't written me a
single word in all this time; but as I suppose you will agree
with me on this point more or less, I will not pursue the
subject right now. Another matter is that my mother's recovery
is progressing better than was expected in the beginning. And
the doctor says that he now dares assure us that she will be
well again in about three months.
I have thought repeatedly about the fact that we made some
sort of agreement that I was to send you a few watercolours
this winter. But, as I heard absolutely nothing from you, I
must tell you frankly that I did not feel the slightest
inclination to do so. So the whole thing came to nothing -
although I have done some.
I have mostly been painting these past weeks - those weavers
- it was rather a laborious job. And during these last mild
days I have been painting in the fields: a little country
Five pen drawings of weavers besides.
I haven't found many more wood engravings this winter -
except one very beautiful sheet by O'Kelly, “Irish
Emigrants” - and one by Emslie, “A Cotton
Mill,” and then the sheet in the Christmas number of the
Graphic, “For Those in Peril upon the
Sea” [written in English].
Do you know the poems of Jules Breton - “Les
Humbles” and “Promenade” and
“Intérieurs”? - I read them again recently
together with another little volume of French poems by
François Coppée. Coppée's are very
beautiful too. Characterizations of workmen - also demimonde
with a great deal of sentiment in it.
Have you been so busy with your Dominican monk - or what is
the reason you haven't written?
Ever yours, Vincent
[On the back of the envelope]
P.S. I have also got hold of a spinning wheel.
At this time, Vincent was 30 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written 25 February 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R40.
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