van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Dr. Th. Peyron to Theo van Gogh
St-Rémy, 29 April 1889

St-Rémy, April 29th 1889


Yesterday Mr. Salles, the Protestant minister of Arles handed me your letter, which is at the same time a request for admission for your brother, a painter in Arles; he also told me the conditions that you want for your patient during his stay in the house; among these conditions there are some that will be a pleasure to grant him, but there is one that I cannot accept in advance, that of granting him permission to walk out of the establishment any time that he wants. You will understand, I hope, that under these conditions my responsibility would be strongly compromised, since I could not watch over him.

What I can assure you in advance is that after I have observed your patient for some time and I have acquired the certainty that he can enjoy a greater liberty without inconveniences, I will be the first to grant it to him.

As for doing painting and not to be sequestered in the establishment, I promise you that we will facilitate every means to allow him his natural tastes and, in the house, allow him the greatest liberty compatible with his mental state.

In the same way, we will grant him wine with all his meals, especially since all my patients drink wine every day. I must tell you that in these conditions, the price of the pension remains fixed at 100 f. per month, and that it would be impossible for me to make a reduction. I have to add that you will have to pay, just for the first month, a supplement of ten francs for the medical certificate from the physician named by the administration to control the admissions of the patients; this expense is only payable for the first month.

Medical treatment is given with the same solicitude for all classes of patients.

I must ask you to give me his birth certificate at the time of admission. As for his clothing requirements needed to maintain the cleanliness of the patients, I have fixed this up with M. Salles, who will accompany him to St-Rémy.

Sincerely Yours.

Dr. Th. Peyron.

At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Dr. Th. Peyron. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 29 April 1889 in St-Rémy. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number to.

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