van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Paul Gauguin to Vincent van Gogh
Pont-Aven, c.25 July 1888
Relevant paintings:

"Young Breton Wrestlers," Paul Gauguin July 1888

"Letter sketch of Young Breton Wrestlers," Paul Gauguin July 1888

My dear Vincent,

I have just read your interesting letter and I quite agree with you on how little importance exactness is in art.

Art is an abstraction, unfortunately one becomes more and more misunderstood. I would really like that we reach our goal: that is to say my journey to Provence. I always had the fancy to interpret the bullfights in my own way, as I understand them. I am starting to get the freedom of my faculties: my illness had weakened me and in my last studies I think that what I have done up to now is out of date.

Naturally this band of pigs here find me quite mad, and I that rather pleases me because it proves to me that I am not. I have just finished a Breton fight that you will like, I am sure.

[Gauguin drew a sketch of the Young Breton Wrestlers here.]

Two kids blue pants and vermilion pants. One at the top to the right is coming out of the water.

Green lawn / pure emerald [veronéze] going down to chromium yellow without execution as in Japanese crepons.

At the top a boiling cascade of water, pink-white and a rainbow on the side close to the frame.

At the bottom a white touch, a black hat and blue shirt.

About Russell. Granchi said to me that he had seen him 2 months ago in Paris and that Russell had great admiration for me and that he had gone to Belle Isle.

I really don't understand why a rich man wouldn’t buy what he admires. Let’s still hope.

Who is this Thomas you mentioned, is he Thomas de Bojano? Or is he the dealer who lives close to place Vendôme?

My friend Laval came back from Martinique; he bought back some very curious watercolours. I want to make you to see that what you love is art. I talk as if we were already together. I must tell you that once I make a resolution I am always in a hurry to put it to execution.

If it weren’t for this filthy money my trunks would soon be packed. I don't know why, but for about ten days I have painted a lot of madness in my head that I intend to execute in the Midi: I believe that is because of my state of health, which is flourishing again. I have a need of struggle; to carve with a club. After all the research that I have just done here I believe it will help me to go better than before.

Until we are together, an affectionate handshake,

Paul Gauguin.

At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Paul Gauguin. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. Written c.25 July 1888 in Pont-Aven. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number GAC 30.

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