My dear Theo,
Until now I have not been able to write you, but being a bit
better just now, I did not wish to delay wishing you a happy
year, since it's your birthday, you and your wife and child. At
the same time I beg you to accept the various pictures I am
sending you with my thanks for all the kindness you have shown
me, for without you I should be very unhappy.
You will see that first of all there are canvases after
Not being intended for the public, perhaps you will
eventually make presents of these to our sisters. But first you
must keep what you like and as much as you want, it's
yours absolutely. One of these days you will send me something
else to do by past or present artists, if you can find
The rest of the canvases aren't much; not having been able
to work for two months, I am very much behind. You will find
that the olives with the pink sky are the best, and the
mountains, I imagine; the first would go well as a pendant to
those with the yellow sky. As for the portrait of the
Arlésienne, you know that I have promised a copy
of it to our friend Gauguin, and you must send it to him. Then
the cypresses are for M. Aurier. I should have liked to do them
again with a little less impasto, but I haven't time.
the meantime I shall of course want paints, which you might get
again in part from Tanguy, if he is hard up, or if he should
like it. But of course he mustn't be more expensive than the
Then (but at Tasset's) 2 geranium lake, medium-sized tubes.
You would do me a kindness if you sent me at least half of them
at once, at once, because I have wasted too much time.
Then I shall need 6 brushes - 6 marten brushes - and 7
meters of canvas or even 10.
The order for paints is rather big, so let me wait for half
of it if it is more convenient to you.
While I was ill I nevertheless did some little canvases from
memory which you will see later, memories of the North, and
now I have just finished a corner of a sunny meadow, which I think
is fairly vigorous. You will see it soon.
M. Peyron being away, I have not yet read my letters, but I
know that some have come. He has been good enough to keep you
posted on the situation, I do not know myself what to do or
what to think, but I greatly wish to leave this house. That
will not surprise you, I need say no more to you.
How is Bernard? As there are some
canvases in duplicate, if you like you can exchange with him,
for a good canvas by him would be a fine thing to have in your
I felt ill at the time I was doing the almond blossoms. If I
had been able to go on working, you can judge from it that I
would have done others of trees in blossom. Now the trees in
blossom are almost over, really I have no luck. Yes, I must try
to get out of here, but where to go? I do not think I could be
more shut up and more of a prisoner in the homes where they do
not pretend to leave you free, such as at Charenton or
If you write home, give them my kindest regards and tell
them I often think of them. There, a good handshake for you and
Jo, and believe me,
Ever yours, Vincent
Please send me what you can find of figure among my old
drawings. I am thinking of doing the picture of the
“Peasants at Dinner” [The Potato Eaters], with the lamplight
effect again. That canvas must be quite black now, perhaps I could do it again altogether from
You must send me the “Women Gleaning” and the
“Diggers” if they are still there.
Then, if you like, I will do the old tower of Nuenen again
and the cottage. I think that if you still have them, I can
make something better of them now from memory.
At this time, Vincent was 37 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 30 April 1890 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 629.
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