van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
» Home < Previous   Next >
Letter from Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh
Auvers-sur-Oise, 22 July 1890

Paris, 22 July 1890 1

My dear Vincent,

Jo has sent your letter, which followed us to Holland, to me and I have read it with a little surprise 2. Where did you see these violent domestic quarrels? That we were very tired by these interminable preoccupations on the subject of the future of us all, yes, that with this affair vis-a-vis the house, about which I am unsure if it is in my own best interest, yes, but truly I don't see these intense domestic quarrels that you talk about. Was it the discussion with Dries? Certainly I had hoped to see a bit more audacity in him in undertaking something, but he is like that and there is no reason to break with him. Is it perhaps, but I really do not believe it, that you consider it an intense domestic quarrel when Jo asked you not to put the Prévost 3 up where you wanted to hang it? She did not mean to hurt you with this and would certainly have preferred that you leave it there rather than anger you. Her child preoccupies her too much for her to have much time to think about paintings and no matter that she sees things better than she used to, she does not always understand what the painting means. No, if it was this trifling matter, I tell you to stop it because it is not worth worrying about. I hope, my dear Vincent, that your health is good, and since you say that you write with difficulty, and don't talk about your work I am a little afraid that there is something troubling you or not going right. In this case drop in to see Dr. Gachet, he will give you something to make you feel better. Give me your news as soon as possible. Last Tuesday [15 July] I took Jo and the child to Leiden and stayed there until Thursday. Mother is well, a little older, but she was so happy to see her little boy and it was fun to see her pick him up and how happy it made her. Wil is also fine and was very kind to us. Jo stayed there [again?] for a day after I left and then she went on to Amsterdam, where she is now. I hope that everyone tries a little not to be so tired, but that everyone gets a little rest, we all need it for it is a duty I assure you.

Unfortunately, the weather there, as it is here, is unsettled, with the result that she cannot get much fresh air, nor can the child either. I think that if it were possible she wants to return home sooner than we had planned, but on the other hand it is good that she likes her home here more than her parent's house. I will be very happy when she returns because the house is so empty! And the little one misses me too. Our lives, justified by this child, are so closely linked that you do not have to fear that a small difference of opinion, if you saw any, would cause any rift that would be difficult to reconcile. Therefore, don't think about it any more. My travelling in Holland has done me good, and has given me a lot of rest, which I really needed. Hope the health is good. Enclosed I send you 50-fr. - write to me quickly and believe me your brother who loves you,


  1. Theo said (T41) that he was leaving for Leiden on Tuesday 15th July 1890, from there he was going to Mesdag on Wednesday and then on to Antwerp; he would be gone about eight days. Thus he should have been back in Paris on the 23rd or 24th of the month. Since this letter is dated Tuesday the 22nd, and is obviously written in Paris, he must have returned sooner than he expected.

  2. In view of what Theo says of this letter, it cannot be reconciled with any of Vincent's existing letters. Letter 651 is obviously in reply to this one, and the previous letter to Jo and Theo, 649, of about the 10th July, does not mention any “violentes querelles domestiques” [violent domestic quarrels].

  3. In letter 648 Vincent says that the paintings owned by him and Theo of other artists, stored at Tanguy's, including the Prévost, were “going to ruin there.”

At this time, Vincent was 37 year old
Theo van Gogh. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. Written 22 July 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number .

This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.
» Home < Previous   Next >

or find:         Credits & feedback