van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Arles, c. 13 April 1888
Relevant paintings:

"Pink Peach Tree in Blossom (Reminiscence of Mauve)," Vincent van Gogh

"Blossoming Pear Tree," Vincent van Gogh

"Marcalle Roulin," Van Gogh 1888

"Marcalle Roulin," Van Gogh 1888

My dear Theo,

Thank you for your letter and

Now I must tell you that I am working at 2 pictures of which I want to make copies. The pink peach tree gives me the most trouble.

You see from the three squares on the other side of this page that the three orchards make a series, more or less. I have also just now a little pear tree, vertical, between two horizontal canvases. That will make six canvases of orchards in bloom. I am now trying every day to touch them up and give them a certain unity.

I dare hope for three more, matching in the same way, but so far they have got no further than embryos or fetuses.

I should like very much to do this series of nine canvases. You see, we may consider this year's nine canvases as the first idea for a definitive decoration a great deal bigger (this present one consists of size 25 and 12 canvases), which would be carried out along just the same lines next year at the same season.

Here is the other middle piece of the size 12 canvases. The ground violet, in the background a wall with straight poplars and a very blue sky. The little pear tree has a violet trunk and white flowers, with a big yellow butterfly on one of the clusters. To the left in the corner, a little garden with a fence of yellow reeds, and green bushes, and a flower bed. A little pink house. There now, you have the details of this decoration scheme of orchards in bloom that I have planned for you.

But the last three pictures exist only provisionally; they should represent a very big orchard surrounded by cypresses and great pear trees and apple trees.

The Pont de l'Anglais for you is coming along well, and will be better than the study, I think. I am very anxious to get back to work. As to the Guillaumin, surely it would be a good bargain if it's possible to buy it. Only since they are talking of a new method of fixing pastels, it would perhaps be wise to ask him to fix it in this way if you do buy it.

With a handshake for you and Koning,

Ever yours, Vincent

I have had a letter from Bernard with some sonnets he has concocted and some of them really come off quite well. He'll manage to write a good sonnet yet: a thing I could very nearly envy him.

As soon as the Pont de l'Anglais and the copy of the other picture, the pink peach tree, are dry, I'll send them off.

At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 13 April 1888 in Arles. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 477.

This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.
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