My dear Theo,
I have already written you once in Brussels, to tell you
that I hoped you would be able to send me some more money at
the latest on your return to Paris. You see, I have had to pay
the whole bill provisionally, so as to get hold of my
belongings, though I stipulated on the receipt that this
exorbitant bill should be gone into before the magistrate.
I am not sure of winning, though I have undoubted
right to a 27 franc deduction, and even then I have no
compensation for all the worry which this has caused me. First
I had a period of absolutely absorbing work, then I was so
exhausted and so ill that I did not feel strong enough to live
alone, and I let things slide too much. . But in
the end it will be for the best, because all this has driven me
to take this decision. I consider that I am after all a
workman, and not a coddled foreigner travelling for pleasure,
and it would be feeble of me to let myself be exploited as
such. So I am beginning to set up a studio which can likewise
be used by the other fellows if one of them comes along or if
there were painters here.
The first thing you will find in the case are the pictures I
did for Jet Mauve and Tersteeg. If meanwhile you have come to
the conclusion that Tersteeg would be offended by it, if in
short I had better have nothing to do with him, then keep it
yourself and you can scrape off the dedication, and we can
exchange it for something by one of the comrades.
As for the copies of these two studies, I think that the
bridge is better than Tersteeg's, but that the study for Jet
Mauve is simpler than the copy.
Perhaps this copy will improve in time. I have worked on it
Next the series of orchards - I think that the white orchard
of which I sent you a pen drawing, and the biggest one in pink
and green on absorbent canvas, are the best.
A big study without stretchers and another one on
stretchers, in which there is a lot of stippling, are
unfinished, which I regret, for the composition gave the
general effect of the big orchards here surrounded by
cypresses. I have already written you what I think of them and
you will have them soon, since the case will be leaving this
With a handshake,
Ever yours, Vincent
I think that as for frames, the two yellow bridges with the
blue sky would do well in the dark blue they call royal blue,
the white orchard in cold white, the big pink orchard in a
rather warm creamy white.
At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 10 May 1888 in Arles. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 486.
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