van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh
Saint-Rémy, 8 January 1890
Relevant paintings:

"Evening: The Watch (after Millet)," Vincent van Gogh

"Mountains at Saint-Rmy with Dark hut," Vincent van Gogh

"Road Menders," Vincent van Gogh

"Fountain in the garden of St. Paul's Hospital," Vincent van Gogh May/June 1889

Letter T24
Paris, 8 January 1890

My dear Vincent,

When I wrote you last time I did so under the impression I received from Dr. Peyron's first letter. I am very glad to hear that things are not so bad as this letter made me believe, and he himself wrote me another letter to tell me that things had turned out quite differently from the way he had expected at first. In his first letter he gave me to understand that it was dangerous for you to go on painting, as the colours were poison to you, but he went a little too far, which might have been due to his having relied on unverified rumours, as he himself was ill at the time. So let's hope that you may continue working as you think fit. I suppose Tasset sent you a new consignment of paints and canvas. I received your new batch last night; it is very remarkable. Do you know, one of the things I like most is that “Evening” after Millet. Copied in such a way, it is no longer a copy. There is tone in it, and it is so full of air. It is really very successful. 1 As for the other canvases, I very much like the one of those women clambering over the rocks, and the highway with the road menders. I think there is more atmosphere in these last works, more distance than in the preceding ones. Perhaps this is due to your not laying on your paint so thickly everywhere. In one of the rolls there was a superb pen drawing representing a fountain in a garden; next Sunday I am going to meet Lauzet, who will admire them very much - I am sure of that.

I agree with you that it might be a good thing for you to come here next spring, and then you can decide to go into the country after a while if life here doesn't suit you. Here there will always be the difficulty that you cannot work in the open air, but we shall see, and in any case we shall always be happy to have you with us for some time.

Jo's confinement is expected to take place between the first and the fifteenth of February, and after that her mother will stay on for about a month, but after her departure the little room will be free and at your disposal. Jo is in very good health, and does not feel much discomfort on account of her pregnancy. The doctor believes that everything will go well. When Wil arrived she had such a cold that she had to stay in bed this morning, but I hope that if she takes care of herself for a day or two, she will be all right again. It was very kind of Mr. Salles to go and see you. I wrote him a letter on New Year's Day, but I did not venture to ask him to call on you. I am very glad that the crisis passed off so quickly this time.

Be of good heart, and kind regards from Jo and Wil; a cordial handshake and many thanks for what you sent, which we liked very much.

Yours, Theo

  1. See Vincent's letter 623.

At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Theo van Gogh. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. Written 8 January 1890 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number T24.

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