To Theo van Gogh. Nuenen, Wednesday, 6 May 1885.
My dear Theo,
Yesterday I sent a number of painted studies by post, and today, Wednesday, a crate marked V1, free domicile, containing the painting. Please send me word of receipt, and at the same time whether the postage was in order.
If not, I’d like to know for later consignments. If it was correct, it cost me not quite 2 guilders, which I believe works out cheaper than if one calculates the carriage in Paris, and we can try it again sometime, with fairly large dimensions too.
I don’t know what you’ll think of the painting, but be it for this, be it for later canvases, be particularly careful when it comes to ordering frames.
Because for the time being we can use the money better for making new ones. And only start framing them when we’ve got a few together.
At least, that would be the most agreeable to me. The expenses for the many studies that I’m making are really rather more than I can encompass in the circumstances. I’ve just had to pay 25 guilders rent, as well.
All the same, the painting seems to me to demand to be seen against a tone like gold or copper. Because then the marbling effect disappears and it appears that the lights are still deep. But one can easily achieve this effect by holding a piece of paper in, say, an ochre colour behind it.
It wasn’t completely dry when I packed it, but I thought it couldn’t really be damaged any more.
I would like to have done much more to it, though, but because of the sinking in and since it had already been lifted more than once, I could see that I had to stop. And start again on something else.
My move is now complete; at home they’re rather different from what you suppose, and they say I’ve had ‘my way’. Well — it’s all the same to me, and I’d rather not talk about it. I must get to work, so adieu for today. I’ve had another 2 stretching frames made, the same size as this canvas. I think that once we have, say, 3 or 4 paintings of a certain size, it would then be worthwhile getting a frame made in that sort of size. But for a single one it’s too risky, and it’s better to paint a lot.
Regards, with a handshake.