van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Anthon van Rappard
Nuenen, 2nd half September 1884

Nuenen, 2nd half September 1884

Amice Rappard,

With many thanks for letting me read them I am returning the book by Blanc and the one by Fromentin today. As I told you, in consequence of reading Artistes de mon Temps, I ordered the Grammaire des Arts du Dessin - you may read it if you like.

I happened to be in Utrecht last week for a day with some others from the village. I called at your house, but I could not call again as I had to go back the same day. I found nobody home at your house, and I was very sorry that I could not take a look at any of your work as a result; I should have liked so much to see your large picture of the “Fish Market.” And they could not even tell me where you were, which is why I suppose you are still in Drenthe.

I should have liked at the same time to talk to you about staying with us, to find out whether you feel like coming or not. I already wrote you about it, but the two letters have not been answered.


Ever yours, Vincent

I very much enjoyed working on the six canvases I wrote you about, and now the painted sketches are finished, all six of them, and are already at my art lover's house; after he has copied them they will remain my property, and I am going to put some final touches on them. The subjects are “Potato Planting,” “Ox Plough,” “Wheat Harvest,” “Sower,” “Shepherd” (storm effect), “Gatherers of Dead Wood” (snow effect).

I have felt a bit cramped, as I had to stick to certain fixed measurements, and also because my art lover preferred compositions with five or six figures, for instance, whereas I myself would rather have done two or three. But despite that I have worked on them with real pleasure, and I shall carry them still further.

At this time, Vincent was 31 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written 2nd half September 1884 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R48.

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