To Anthon van Rappard. The Hague, on or about Thursday, 18 January 1883.
My dear friend Rappard,
Are you continuing to make a good recovery? I do so long to have news of you. I recently bought 21 volumes of The Graphic, namely 1870-1880. What do you say about that? I’ll receive them this week, I hope. I got them very cheaply, you understand, otherwise I couldn’t have managed it. But I heard that they were for sale and got someone else interested who also appreciates them.
Since your illness I’ve been working hard on Black and White drawings, and I hope to learn a thing or two from these Graphics about the strengths of black and white. I wish we could talk to each other again, because, old chap, what a lot there still is to do!
What I’ve been toiling at in particular lately is heads — Heads of the people — including fishermen’s heads with sou’westers.
When I’ve looked through The Graphics I’ll write to you about them at greater length. Of course I’m bound to have many duplicates. Now I’ll be pleased to hear more about the batch that you bought, not just whether or not there are duplicates but also in general what interesting prints you find.
I found a girl’s head by Percy Macquoid that’s wonderfully fine, a woodcut after a painting by him. Other fine prints I’ve found since include
B. Constant Sick fellahs beside the Nile
Julien Dupré Herdswoman
Smith A street in South Lambeth
Ridley Boat race
Green Street in Whitechapel
Régamey Prison in New York
Thulstrup Workroom in Sailors hospital or home
Abbey Winter girl
Barnard 6 sheets
Ed. Frère Wood gatherers
Buckman donkeys on Hampstead Heath
Walker Tip girls (Miners)
I had to go to some trouble to get The Graphic. For example, I had to do two portraits (two of each!) of the father and mother of the Jew I bought them from. But isn’t it a lucky find!
But it’s so odd that they’re already my property and yet I still haven’t seen them. They’re stored with another large batch of books in a saleroom, but the Jew will get them out this week.
Among the books is La mascarade humaine, 100 lithographs by Gavarni. I have them but do you? And the Jew has other things as well that are probably good.
Well, more soon. I hope you make a good recovery, in haste.