Vincent van Gogh - Portrait of Adeline Ravoux 1890

Portrait of Adeline Ravoux 1890
Portrait of Adeline Ravoux
Oil on canvas 67.0 x 55.0 cm. Auvers-sur-Oise: June, 1890
Private collection

« previous picture | Auvers-sur-Oise | next picture »

The twelve-year-old Adeline Ravoux was the daughter of Arthur-Gustave Ravoux, whose inn is where Van Gogh lodged in Auvers-sur-Oise. She later wrote a memoir of Van Gogh's stay with them. She witnessed Van Gogh's return to the inn after the fatal incident where he shot himself: "Vincent walked bent, holding his stomach, again exaggerating his habit of holding one shoulder higher than the other. Mother asked him: " M. Vincent, we were anxious, we are happy to see you to return; have you had a problem?" He replied in a suffering voice: "No, but I have…" he did not finish, crossed the hall, took the staircase and climbed to his bedroom. I was witness to this scene. Vincent made on us such a strange impression that Father got up and went to the staircase to see if he could hear anything."

The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh. Paris, Saturday, 3 May 1890.
My dear Vincent,
I can’t tell you how pleased I was by your letter, or rather your two letters; I was saying to Jo the day before my birthday that if a letter came from Vincent I would no longer know what I could wish for to complete my happiness. And there you are, your letter arrived. Of course I’d like you to feel better still, and above all that your sadnesses might be dispelled. Your consignment of canvases has arrived too, and there are some that are very, very beautiful. The orderly and the other fellow with his swollen face are extraordinary, the branch of the almond trees in blossom shows that you haven’t exhausted these subjects. You may have missed the season of the blossoming trees this year, but let’s hope that that won’t be the case next time. The Millet copies are perhaps the finest things you’ve done, and make me believe that big surprises still await us the day you set yourself to doing figure compositions. The consignment of Tasset and Tanguy colours has left, I hadn’t yet received your second letter, and I told myself that you could well use the extra half. The Aurier canvas is one of the finest you’ve yet done, it has the richness of a peacock’s tail. I’ll take it to him directly, I’d had the frame made that you described, for I certainly owe him that, and he isn’t rich. And now the most important thing in your second letter, that is your plans to come here. I’m very happy that you feel the strength to undertake a change, and I absolutely agree that you should come as soon as possible, but you say that I myself must fix the time when you’re to come. I daren’t take a decision, and only you, with Dr Peyron’s advice, can take this responsibility upon yourself. Your journey to Arles was absolutely disastrous for you, will the travelling not do you harm this time? If I were you I’d act entirely in accordance with Mr Peyron’s view, and in any event on the day you’ve decided to come here you absolutely must be accompanied during the entire journey by someone you trust. The fatigue of the journey and the sensation of rediscovering places you have known may have an influence on your illness. If possible I’d so much like to have you with us at least for a while, and if you do everything to take care of yourself it’s very likely that all will go well. You say that the people down there understand nothing of painting, but here it’s absolutely the same, and you mustn’t think that you’ll find it otherwise anywhere, except as an exception. We have frequented one category of people, who have made it their principal occupation, but apart from them it’s Hebrew to the people, and simple things are even less understood than there where one can puzzle over the subject etc. I hope that you’ll be able to write to me that you’re getting better and better, and that your plans can soon be realized. However, don’t have too many illusions about life in the north, after all every part of the world has its pros and cons. I’ll write to you soon and shall look for lithographs of the masters. I’ll send them at the same time as the Brabant drawings. Be of good heart, and good handshake. Thanks again for your letters and for your consignment. If you need anything, say so. Business is going well and I have everything I need. Warm regards from Jo and the little one. Enclosed is their portrait.