van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Anthon van Rappard
Nuenen, 25 February 1884

Amice Rappard,

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 churchyard.

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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