To Theo van Gogh. Auvers-sur-Oise, Tuesday, 24 June 1890.
My dear Theo,
Thanks very much for your letter and for the 50-franc note it contained. The exchange you made with Boch is very good, and am very curious to see what sort of thing he’s making at present.
I hope that Jo’s health is better, since you say that she’s been indisposed. Indeed, you must come here as soon as possible, nature is very, very beautiful here, and I’m longing to see you all again.
Mr Peyron wrote to me two days ago. His letter is enclosed. I told him that it seemed to me sufficient to give the lads ten francs or so.
Now the canvases from down there have arrived, the Irises have dried well and I dare believe that you’ll find something in them; thus there are also some roses, a wheatfield, a little canvas with mountains and finally a cypress with a star.
This week I’ve done a portrait of a young girl of 16 or so, in blue against a blue background, the daughter of the people where I’m lodging. I gave her that portrait but I’ve done a variant for you, a no. 15 canvas.
Then I have a canvas one metre long by only 50 centimetres high, of fields of wheat, and one that makes a pendant of undergrowth, lilac trunks of poplars, and underneath them some flower-dotted grass, pink, yellow, white and various greens. Finally a night effect – two completely dark pear trees against yellowing sky with wheatfields, and in the violet background the castle encased in the dark greenery.
The Dutchman is working quite assiduously, but still deludes himself considerably about the originality of his way of seeing. He does studies a little like Koning did, a little grey, a little green with a red roof, a whitening road.
What can you say in a case like that, if he has money then certainly he does right to do painting. But if he has to scheme a lot to sell them I feel sorry for him doing it, painting, as I pity others for buying it at a price that’s relatively too high. If, though, he just works assiduously every day, he might get there. But alone or with painters who work little he wouldn’t do much, I think.
I hope to do Miss Gachet’s portrait next week, and perhaps I’ll also have a country girl to pose too.
I’m pleased that Boch is doing this exchange with me, for I thought that, relatively, they’d paid a little too much for the other canvas, being friends.
I’d very much like to come to Paris for a few days a little later, precisely in order to go and see Quost once, to see Jeannin, one or two others. I’d very much like you to have a Quost, and there would probably be a way of exchanging one. Gachet will come today to see the canvases from the south.
Good fortune with the little one, and good handshake in thought for you and Jo.