van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Arles, c. 7 May 1888
Relevant paintings:

"Path through a Field with Willows," Vincent van Gogh

"Landscapw with path and pollarded trees," Vincent van Gogh

My dear Theo,

I am writing you a second time today because when I tried to settle my bill at the hotel I stay at, I had still another proof of how I've been swindled.

I suggested coming to an agreement, they wouldn't hear of it, and when I wanted to take away my things, they would not let me.

And that was that, but I told them that I would have it out with them before the magistrate: but perhaps the judgement will go against me. Only now, you see, in case it goes against me I must keep enough to pay 67.40 Fr. instead of the 40 which I owe them. So you see I dare not buy my mattress and must go and sleep in some other hotel. But I would like to ask you to let me have enough to buy my mattress all the same.

What often worries me here is that it is more expensive than I had calculated, and that I cannot manage to get along on the same money as Bernard and Gauguin do in Brittany. But all the same, now that I am feeling better, I won't give in; and besides, if I had had the health I hope to recover here, this and lots of other things would not have happened to me. The case would have been on its way already if I had not been bothered all day.

I keep thinking that you have got nothing out of my work yet and that I have already spent such a lot of money.

I am sending you in the case all the studies I have except a few that I have destroyed, but I am not signing them all; there are a dozen that I have taken off the stretchers and 14 on stretchers.

There is a little landscape with a hovel, white, red, and green, and a cypress beside it; you have the drawing of it, and I did the whole painting of it in the house. This will show you that, if you like, I can make little pictures like the Japanese prints of all these drawings. But we can talk about that when you have seen them.

At the moment it is a nuisance that I am practically compelled to take the step of staying at the studio, but in the end it will mean greater quiet for my work.

Now that the first studies are gone, I'm beginning another series.

I explained all this business to you in the letters that are still in Paris.

It had been my intention to stay with these people until I was ready. But it doesn't matter.

I want to get my case forwarded today.

I hope you will write soon.

Ever yours, Vincent

At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 7 May 1888 in Arles. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 484.

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