Saint-Rémy, c. 9 July 1889
My dear Theo,
Tomorrow I shall send a small roll of canvases by goods
train. There are four, namely the following:
View of Arles - Orchards in bloom
Red Chestnuts in the Jardin des Plantes in Arles
Which will go with the ones you already have, such as the
red and green Vineyard, the Garden,
the Harvest, the Starry Sky.
I am putting in with them some more studies which are dry,
but which are more studies from nature than subjects for
And it is always like that, you must make several before you
can get a whole that has character. Now for the subjects of
these seven studies:
“Irises”—“View from the Asylum at
St. Rémy,” size 30 canvases. “Peach
Trees in Bloom” (Arles), “Meadows” (Arles),
“Olives” (St. Rémy), “Old
Willows” (Arles), “Orchard in Bloom.”
Now the next package, which will follow in a little while,
will be made up mostly of the wheat fields and olive
As you see, I have been to Arles to get these canvases, the
attendant here accompanied me. We went to M. Salles' house, but
he had gone on vacation for two months, then to the hospital to
see M. Rey, whom I did not find either. Then we spent the day
with my former neighbours, such as my old charwoman and some
You get very fond of people who have seen you ill, and it
has done me a world of good to see again some people who were
kind and gentle with me then. Someone told me that M. Rey had
passed an examination and had been to Paris, but the porter at
the hospital said he did not know anything about it. I am
curious to know if you have seen him, for he had intended to go
and see the exhibition and to pay you a visit then. The doctor
here may not be going to Paris, he suffers a good deal from his
The last canvas I have done is a view of mountains with a
dark hut at the bottom among some olive trees.
I expect you will be greatly absorbed by the thought of the
child who is to come; I am very glad it is so; I dare think
that in time you will find a good deal of inner tranquility
The fact that in Paris you take on, as it were, a second
nature, which over and above the preoccupation of business and
art makes you less strong than the peasants—that fact
does not prevent you from linking yourself through the bonds of
a wife and child, with this simpler and truer nature, the ideal
of which keeps haunting us.
What a business, that Sécretan sale! I am
always pleased that the Millets hold their own. But I should
very much like to see more good reproductions of Millet, so as
to reach the people.
His work is sublime, especially considered as a whole, and
it will become more and more difficult to get an idea of it
when the pictures are dispersed.
I am sorry not to be able to put the wheat field with the
reaper into the package.
Write me a line soon. A handshake for you and Jo.
Ever yours, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 9 July 1889 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 600.
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