van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Arles, c. 16 November 1888
Relevant paintings:

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

"Self portrait," Laval

"Sketch by Vincent," Vincent van Gogh

"Memory of the Garden at Etten," Vincent van Gogh

"Novel Reader," Vincent van Gogh

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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 good.

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.

Tasset's package arrived the day before yesterday, and we were very pleased with it. Could Tasset send besides - but it is urgent - one very big tube of vermilion (same size as the big flake white) and 3 tubes of Prussian blue of the same size? We should be tremendously obliged.

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.

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