van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh
Saint-Rémy, 22 January 1890
Relevant paintings:

"Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun," Vincent van Gogh

Letter T25
Paris, 22 January 1890

My dear Vincent,

I felt greatly reassured after hearing that you are feeling well, and that the trip to Arles was accomplished without bad consequences. I have various things to tell you, which will probably please you. In the first place Lauzet came here again to see your new canvases, and after he had seen some pictures he exclaimed, “This is the genuine character of the Provence.” He who is a native of those parts knows the country, and abhors the sugary things the Montenards and the others bring back from it. For the rest you will be able to talk with him yourself, for last Saturday he went to Marseilles for two weeks, and on his return he will do his utmost to drop in on you. When you see him you will be so kind as to tell him that I have another subscription for his work Monticelli, Impressions of an Artist - he will be glad to hear it. Not long ago he was at our house in the evening, and we looked through the work on Alb. Dürer's Etchings by d'Amand-Durand together. You will see what an interesting fellow he is, and what a lot he knows about modern literature.

It seems that the exhibition of the “XX” at Brussels is open; I read in a paper that the canvases which arouse the curiosity of the public the most are the open-air study by Cézanne, the landscapes by Sisley, the symphonies by Van Gogh and the works of Renoir. For the month of March they are now preparing here a new exhibition of the impressionists at the pavilion of the “Ville de Paris.” Everyone can send in as many canvases as he likes. Guillaumin is going to exhibit his work there too. Please think over whether you will exhibit too, and which picture you want to send. The exhibition of the “XX” will be closed by that time. I think we can wait patiently for success to come; you will surely live to see it. It is necessary to get well known without obtruding oneself, and it will come of its own accord by reason of your beautiful pictures.

As regards what you write about the future, try to find out if it isn't possible to enter into some sort of combination with Lauzet. For instance, you might look for a studio for the two of you, and then you could take your dinner and sleep at our house. As for the furniture, I am afraid that the forwarding expenses would be at least equal to what it is worth, and I wonder whether it would not be preferable to sell it at Arles. I am trying to find out which establishment in Holland might be suitable, but I have been told already that they are so full up that it is difficult to get admitted. There is Gheel in Belgium, but I don't know what one must do to get admitted there. In any case I hope that you will come and stay with us for a while in order to meet our friends again and to see our baby. Fortunately Jo is in very good health; things are drawing to a close now, for we hope she is going to have her baby at the beginning of February. Wil is much better, and she is looking extremely well. I should very much like her to get married, but to whom?

Do you know, when I saw your olive trees again, I admired them more and more; the one with the sunset especially is superb. How you have worked since your last arrival; it is prodigious. I am anxious to see the other Millets. The other day they published in London a collection of facsimiles of original drawings by Rembrandt. It is marvelous; Seymour Haden is in charge of the supervision of the paintings. Unfortunately they are sold at a very high price - 600 francs for the collection of 400 prints. Last Sunday Dr. Salles came to see us, but unfortunately we had gone out. I should very much like to have seen him. I hope to see you soon, take care of your health, and be of good heart.

Yours, Theo

At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Theo van Gogh. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. Written 22 January 1890 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number T25.

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