van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Saint-Rémy, 13 May 1890
Relevant paintings:

"Still Life: Pink Roses in a Vase," Vincent van Gogh

My dear brother,

After a last discussion with M. Peyron, I have permission to pack, and have sent my luggage by goods train. The 30 kilos of luggage which one may carry will be enough for me to bring some frames, the easel and stretchers, etc., with me. I shall leave as soon as you write M. Peyron. I feel quite calm and I do not think that in my present condition I shall be easily upset.

In any case I hope to be in Paris before Sunday so as to spend your free day quietly with you all. I very much hope to see André Bonger too at the first opportunity.

I have just finished another canvas of pink roses against a yellow-green back-ground in a green vase.

I hope that the canvases I am doing now will make up for the expense of the journey.

This morning when I had been to pay for my luggage, I saw the country again after the rain, quite fresh and full of flowers - what things I could still have done.

I have also written to Arles, asking them to send off the two beds with the bedding by goods train. I figure that this can only cost about 10 francs or so for carriage, and it is always so much saved from the wreck. For it will certainly be useful to me in the country. If you have not yet answered M. Peyron's letter, please send him a wire, so that I can make the journey on Friday or Saturday at the latest, so as to spend Sunday with you. By doing so I shall also waste less time for my work, which for the moment is finished here.

In Paris - if I feel strong enough - I should very much like to do at once a picture of a yellow bookshop (gas effect), which I have had in mind so long. You will see that I'll be fit for it the day after my arrival. I tell you, I feel my head is absolutely calm for my work, and the brush strokes come to me and follow each other logically. Anyway, till Sunday at the latest, I shake your hand, and meanwhile kindest regards to Jo.

Ever yours, Vincent

Probably the reply to M. Peyron will already have been sent - I hope so. I was a little worried because it was delayed a few days, as this seems utterly pointless to me. For either I shall plunge into fresh work here, or it is just now that I have leisure for the journey.

Spending days here or elsewhere doing nothing would make me miserable in my present state of mind.

Besides, M. Peyron does not object, but naturally when one leaves, the position with regard to the rest of the management is rather difficult. But that will be all right, and we'll separate amicably.

At this time, Vincent was 37 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 13 May 1890 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 634.

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