Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh. Paris, Saturday, 29 March 1890.
My dear Vincent,
How pleased I would be to be able to go and see you tomorrow to shake your hand on your birthday. Will it be a celebration for you, or are you still in a state where you find yourself unhappy? What do you do during the day, and have you something to do to distract yourself? Can you read, and do you have what you need? I was hoping after your last letter that you had begun to convalesce, and that soon afterwards you would have written that you were feeling better. My dear brother, how sad it is to be so far from one another and to know so little of what the other is doing. That’s why I’m very happy to be able to tell you that I’ve met Dr Gachet. That doctor Pissarro had spoken to me about. He looks like a man who understands things well. He resembles you a little. When you come here we’ll go and see him, he comes to give consultations in Paris several times a week. He said to me when I told him how your crises occurred that he didn’t believe that this had anything to do with madness and that if it was what he thought, he replied that he would cure you, but he needed to see you and talk to you to be able to give his opinion with greater certainty. He’s a man who can be very useful to us if you come here. Have you spoken to Dr Peyron about it yet, and what does he say about it? I haven’t yet gone back to the Independents, but Pissarro who went there every day tells me that you have a real success among the artists. There are also art lovers who spoke to me about it before I’d pointed them out to them. The newspapers which give an account of the exhibition are silent on the Impressionists’ hall. That’s still the best they can do, for the majority of these critics, you know very well what they’re worth. The weather here is beginning to be really springlike. This afternoon Jo and the child were in the little square in front of the Trinity. The shrubs are beginning to become green and the trees are showing green points on the buds, everything was bathed in benevolent sunshine, and the grey of the church against the intense blue of the sky was really beautiful.
Jo and the child are doing well. From time to time there is of course something amiss, but nothing serious. The doctor who came this week said that he was a magnificent child, and paid Jo compliments. You’ll see how funny his movements are. My dear brother, I have a very great desire to hear if you’re feeling better and to have details about your health. Be of good heart, and remain hopeful that things will get better soon.
I’m sending you a few reproductions of etchings by Rembrandt, they’re so beautiful. Good handshake, and believe me your brother who loves you,