van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Nuenen, 6 May 1885
Relevant paintings:

"Potato Eaters," Vincent van Gogh

Dear Theo,

Yesterday I sent you a number of painted studies by post, and today, Wednesday, a box marked V1 carriage-paid, containing the picture.

Please acknowledge receipt, and tell me at the same time if the carriage was sufficiently prepaid. If not I should like to know with a view to later parcels. If it was right, it costs me not quite 2 guilders, which I think cheaper than when the carriage is paid at Paris, and we can try it again some other time, also with rather large dimensions.

I do not know what you will think of the picture, but be careful not to order frames at once for this and for later pictures.

For the present we can use our money better making new pictures. And let us only begin to frame them when we have a small collection. At least, that's what I should like best. What with the many small studies I make, the expenses are indeed heavier than I can manage at present; I just had to pay 25 guilders for rent, too.

It was not yet completely dry when I packed it, but I thought it could hardly be damaged.

I should have liked to work on it even longer, but because of the sinking in and because I had already varnished it more than once, I felt I had to leave it alone.

And I shall start a new thing at once.

My moving is over now. Those at home are hardly what you imagine, and what they say is “that I followed my own head.”

Well, never mind, I'd rather not talk about it.

I must set to work, so goodbye for today.

I have had two other stretchers made of the same size as this canvas; I think if we have, say, three or four pictures of a certain size, then it will be worth while to have a frame in that size. But there is too much risk for a single one, and it is better to paint a great deal.

Goodbye, with a handshake,

Ever yours, Vincent

At this time, Vincent was 32 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 6 May 1885 in Nuenen. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 407.

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