Extract from a letter from Wilhelmina van Gogh to Line
Kruysse, a Dutch girlfriend.
Nuenen, 26 August 1886
My second brother, Theo, from Paris, left yesterday; he
really is a dear boy. He told us so many good things about
Vincent, the eldest, who is living with him. His paintings are
getting so much better and he is beginning to exchange them for
those of other painters, so everything's sure to come right in
time. According to Theo, he is definitely making a name for
himself. But we are under no illusions, and are only too
grateful that he is having some slight success. You don't know
what a hard life he has had, and who can say what is still in
store for him. His disappointments have often made him fell
bitter and have turned him into an unusual person. That was
difficult for my parents, who could not always follow him and
often misunderstood him. My father was strict, and attached to
all sorts of conventions of which my brother never took any
particular notice; needless to say, that often led to clashes
and to words spoken in anger, which neither party was quick to
forget. So during the past eight years Vincent has been a bone
of contention with many, and all too often one tended to forget
all the good there was in him, the appearances to the contrary.
During the past few years he has been working at home with us;
after my father's death, Anna thought it would be more peaceful
for Mother if he stopped living at home, and saw to it that he
left us. He took that so badly that from then on he has not
been in touch with us, and it is only through Theo that we have
news of him.
At this time, Vincent was 33 year old
Wilhelmina van Gogh. Letter to Line Kruysse. Written 26 August 1886 in Nuenen. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number htm.
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