van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Ramsgate, 21 April 1876
Relevant paintings:

"Sketch by Vincent," Vincent van Gogh

  Highlighting feelings - homesick   - Turn off highlighting

Dear Theo,

Enclosed you will find a postal order of ten shillings and an advertisement for Anna.
Be so kind as to have it put in any paper you think best. If it is not enough, I shall send you the rest, and if it is too much, buy some photographs with it and send them to Etten on May 21[their parent's silver wedding], but at all events tell me how much you paid for the advertisement and where it was placed, in case I should need to do it again.
Today, Mr. Stokes has returned. He is man of medium height; he is completely bald, and wears whiskers. They say that the boys respect him, but they love him just the same; ten hours after he arrived, they were playing marbles with him.
We often go to the beach; this morning I helped the boys make a sandcastle, like we used to make in the garden at Zundert.
I wish you could catch a look out of the windows of the school. The residence looks out on a square (all the houses in this square look the same, it's often the case here), in the middle of which is a large lawn enclosed by an iron fence and lined with lilacs. This is where the boys play at midday. The house where I have my room is in the same square.
When I was in Rotterdam and heard that I had a long wait, I was on the point of coming to The Hague; I even went to the station. Yet I did not go. Later on I hope to see everything and everybody there with a calmer eye.
I shall never forget leaving those at home on Good Friday.
In the morning we went to church at the Hoeve 1 and received communion; Father's text was, “Arise, let us go hence.”
And in the afternoon we did arise, and from the carriage window I saw Father and our little brother standing on the road, looking after the train.
And Sunday afternoon I was at the church in Ramsgate, and there I was struck by the words on the wall which you will find in Anna's letter (which I enclose).
Compliments to Roos and to everybody who may ask after me. A firm handshake from
Your loving brother, Vincent

1. A little village in the neighbourhood of Etten.

[Enclosed with the letter was a sketch of the view from the school window.]

At this time, Vincent was 23 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 21 April 1876 in Ramsgate. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 062.

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