Dear brother and sister,
The letter from Jo has really been like a gospel for me,
Back here, I, too, still felt very sad, and the storm which
threatens you continued to weigh heavily on me as well. What is
to be done? Look here, I try to be fairly good-humoured in
general, but my life too is threatened at its very root, and my
step is unsteady too.
I was afraid - not entirely - but nevertheless a little -
that my being a burden on you was something you found
intolerable - but Jo's letter proves to me clearly that you do
realize that I am working and making an effort just as much as
So - having arrived back here, I have set to work again -
although the brush is almost falling from my fingers - and
because I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I have painted
three more large canvases. They are vast stretches of corn
under troubled skies, and I did not have to go out of my way
very much in order to try to express sadness and extreme
loneliness. I hope you will be seeing them soon since I'd like
to bring them to you in Paris as soon as possible. I'm fairly
sure that these canvases will tell you what I cannot say in
words, that is, how healthy and invigorating I find the
The third canvas is Daubigny's garden, a picture I have had
in mind ever since I came here.
I hope with all my heart that the proposed journey will help
a little to take your mind off things.
I often think of the little one, I don't doubt it's better
to bring up children than to spend all one's nervous energy on
making pictures, but it can't be helped, I am, or at least I
feel I am, too old now to retrace my steps or to desire
anything different. That desire has left me, though the mental
I was very sorry not to have seen Guillaumin again, but I am
pleased that he has seen my canvases. If I had waited for him,
I should probably have stayed talking to him so long I would
have missed my train.
Wishing you both luck, a stout heart and comparative
prosperity, may I ask you to tell Mother and our sister once
again that I think of them very often. Indeed, I had a letter
from them this morning and will be replying soon.
Handshakes in thought,
My money will not last me very long this time, for on my
return I had to pay the bill for the luggage from Arles. I have
some very pleasant memories of that journey to Paris. A few
months ago I hardly dared to hope to see my friends again. I
think that Dutch lady [the sculptress Saar de Swart] is most
talented. Lautrec's picture, Portrait de musicienne, is quite
wonderful, it moved me when I saw it.
At this time, Vincent was 37 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 10 July 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 649.
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