My dear Theo,
Many thanks for the 100 francs you sent and for your letter.
I know you will be pleased to hear that I have had a letter
from Jet Mauve, thanking us for the picture. A very nice
letter, in which she speaks of old times. I am going to answer
it and I shall send some sketches in the letter besides.
You will also be pleased to hear that we have an addition to
the collection of portraits of artists. The self- portrait by
Laval, extremely good.
[Here was drawn a copy of the Laval self-portrait.]
Also a marine by Bernard in exchange for canvases of mine.
The portrait of Laval is very bold, very distinguished, and
will be just one of the pictures you speak of, those one gets
hold of before other people have recognized the talents.
I think it excellent that you are taking a Luce. Has he a
self- portrait by any chance? Just in case there should be
nothing extraordinarily interesting, portraits are always
Gauguin is working on a very original nude woman in the hay
with some pigs. It promises to be very fine, and of great
distinction. He has sent to Paris for the return of a
magnificent jar with 2 rats' heads.
He is a very great artist and a very excellent friend.
If ever you could get a good Bernard, I very strongly advise
you to. Gauguin has a superb one.
I have been working on two canvases.
A memory of our garden at Etten, with
cabbages, cypresses, dahlias, and figures, then a Woman reading
a novel in a library like the Lecture Française, a woman
all in green. Gauguin gives me the courage to
work from my imagination, and certainly things from the
imagination take on a more mysterious character.
I am glad Jet Mauve has written, and I venture to think that
little by little they will come round to the impressionists
after all. A handshake in thought for you, and my compliments
to Haan and Isaäcson.
Ever Yours, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 16 November 1888 in Arles. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 562.
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