Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh. Paris, Sunday, 9 February 1890.
My dear Vincent
You gave us great pleasure with your last letter, and fortunately we can see that things are going fairly well as regards your health.
Things are going well at home with us, Jo is nursing the baby and has no lack of milk, and the little one sometimes lies down with his eyes wide open and his fists against his face. Then he has the look of being completely well. He has blue eyes like the baby you painted, and fat cheeks. He gives his mother all sorts of trouble, but that seems inevitable and she bears it very well. In a few days from now she’ll be able to get up. This morning Wil left, she gave us a lot of help in the household. She’s a good girl. I was once with her at Degas’s place; he said that she reminded him of several figures from the old Dutch paintings, and made him very much want to go and see the museums in our country. He brought out several things to show her, which pleased her greatly. She understood the female nudes very well.
One morning, too, we were in the Louvre, where several paintings have been moved. The Vermeer of Delft at eye height, Rembrandt’s little Philosophers are cleaned a little, which enables one to see them as never before. The Infanta Marguerita is in the Salon Carré. Anyway, they’ve made a few reorganizations that were really necessary. The doctor who came to Jo said of Wil, she’s really much too good to get married. Nevertheless I’d be really happy if she were. Yesterday Gauguin came to Paris and he asked a lot of questions about you. He has come here to see if he can find a position to do anything at all to earn his living, for it seems that De Haan is very hard up too. His family don’t understand at all why he doesn’t remain with them, and as they’re terrible Jews they’re probably thinking that they can force him to come back by cutting off his allowance. De Haan sent me a painting to dispatch to his brother. One can see that he’s trying very hard, it’s pink and orange onions, green apples and an earthenware pot. It’s very carefully studied as regards values and influence of tones, one on another. I’d like to see a little more casualness in it, but it’s very carefully studied and kept in quite a bright range of colours. There are three exhibitions here, of the Mirlitons, the Volney circle and the Aquarellistes, but there is, so to speak, nothing good in them, it’s as if the men with the power are becoming more and more senile. I hope that your health will continue to be good and that the things that make you worry will disappear.
Warm regards from Jo, be of good heart, and thank you again for your kind letter. Handshake.