van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Theo van Gogh to Camille Pissarro
Paris, 5 July 1890

Dear Sir,

It's still misery for - may I say it? - us other impressionists. I tried the overdoors 1 again at Mme. Boivin's, but she says it is her husband and he says it is she who does not want them, even after having read your letter, he did not want me to hang a painting very high so that he might judge the effect. Thus I can do only one thing, which is to send you the enclosed 500 francs in advance on the business that we will do and we will do a lot, that is said and promised, if you will just take good care of yourself and care for your eye.

I have had great difficulties; we almost lost our little child. Cow's milk in Paris is poisoned by the dirty food and bad treatment of these animals. Donkey's milk has saved him and at the moment he is better and even thriving. But you can well understand that we must not travel at the present time. It is therefore not possible that we offer ourselves the pleasure of all three of us coming to visit you. But since on the 14th of this month I must be at Monet's with M. Valadon, I am inviting myself, along with my brother-in-law 2 and perhaps with my brother Vincent, to come and spend that day with you. We will sleep anywhere, so don't worry about it. To see the great artist in his home and surroundings will give me pleasure.

When Miss Rogers comes, I shall show her all my [Pissarro] paintings. When she came she asked me, referring to Monet, “If I bought a small painting of his, do you think he would give me some lessons?” I told her the story about the young man going to show him his studies and saying to him, “Ah, M. Monet, I admire your paintings so much, they all have the character of being made from nature.” “If you have seen that, then what is it that you come to do in my house?” was his reply. She did not dare ask him the same thing and she cooled off. She must buy a painting of yours and not the least expensive. She ought to be able to afford a fine painting at the customary price and she must not let us down.

Best regards from me and my wife, also to Mme. Pissarro. When you have something new, let me know.

Theo van Gogh

  1. Theo had been trying to sell four overdoor paintings by Pissarro.

  2. Andries Bonger.

At this time, Vincent was 37 year old
Theo van Gogh. Letter to Camille Pissarro. Written 5 July 1890 in Paris. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number to.

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