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From Theo to Vincent


"I think we can wait patiently for success to come; you will surely live to see it. It is necessary to get well known without obtruding oneself, and it will come of its own accord by reason of your beautiful pictures."

Theo van Gogh
Letter T25
22 January 1890



Of the letters that Theo van Gogh wrote to his brother, Vincent, 37 survive. All of them are presented in this section in their entirety.

Letter

Keywords

Excerpt / Full Text

Link to Painting(s) Mentioned in Letter

36a

The Hague / Paris
7 September 1875
(includes Vincent's reply)

Weehuizen, Michelet's L'Amour, Michel, Rembrandt, Van Stockum, Borchers Theo, I want to make a suggestion that may perhaps surprise you. Do not read Michelet any longer or any other book but the Bible till we meet again at Christmas . . . .

Full Text

---
T1

Paris
19 October 1888

De Haan, Isäcson, Uriel Acoste, Rembrandt, Breitner, Maris, Israëls, Seurat, Tartarin of Tarascon, Nabob, Tartarin, Madame Chrysanthème Full Text ---
T2

Paris
23 October 1888

Gauguin's "Les Bretonnes", Diot's, De Haan, Isäcson Full Text ---
T3

The Hague
27 October 1888

De Haan, Tasset You speak of money which you owe me, and which you want to give back to me. I won't hear of it.

Full Text

---
T4

Paris
16 March 1889

Signac, Monet, Messers. Rey and Salles Full Text ---
T5

Paris
14 April 1889

St. Rémy, Jo, Wil, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Mauve Full Text ---
T6

Paris
2 May 1889

Foreign Legion, Puvis de Chavannes, Degas Full Text ---
T7

Paris
8 May 1889

Raffaelli, Zorn, Uhde Full Text ---
T8

Paris
8 May 1889

(from Johanna to Vincent)

Pissarro, Isaäcson, Nibbrig, Lies, Wil Wil as well as Theo have told me so many things about you, and here in the house there are so many things which remind one of you . . . . . Hardly ever a day passes without our speaking of you.

Full Text

Blossoming Pear Tree: F 405, JH 1394; Harvest at La Crau, with Montmajour in the Background: F 412, JH 1440
T9

Paris
22 May 1889

Pissarro, Gauguin, Renoir, Guillaumin, Weissenbruch, Willem, Maris, Bosboom, Israëls, Breitner, Tersteeg The cradle, the portrait of Roulin, the little sower with the tree, the baby, the starry night, the sunflowers and the chair with the pipe and tobacco pouch are the ones I prefer so far.

Full Text

La Berceuse: F 508, JH 1671; Sower, The: F 450, JH 1627; Starry Night Over the Rhone: F 474, JH 1592; Vincent's Chair with His Pipe: F 498, JH 1635
T10

Paris
16 June 1889

Delacroix, George Sand, Schuffenecker, Lautrec, Rembrandt, Corot, Manet, Delacroix, Millet, Ricard, Daumier, Isäcson Full Text Vincent's Bedroom in Arles: F 482, JH 1608; Red Vineyard, The: F 495, JH 1626; L'Arlesienne: F 489, JH 1625
T11

Paris
5 July 1889

(from Johanna to Vincent)

Isaäcson, Hart Nibbrig, Tersteeg, De Haan, Pissarro, Shakespeare, Zola . . . next winter, toward February probably, we hope to have a baby, a pretty little boy--whom we are going to call Vincent, if you will consent to be his godfather.

Full Text

---
T12

Paris
16 July 1889

Pissarro, Tanguy, Verenskiold, De Haan, Gauguin, Isaäcson, Salles, Rey, Vermier Full Text Still Life: Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers: F 454, JH 1562; Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers: F 456, JH 1561; Still Life: Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers: F 458, JH 1667; Starry Night over the Rhone: F 474, JH 1592; Courtyard of the Hospital at Arles, The: F 1467, JH 1688; Death's-Head Moth: F 1523, JH 1700
T13

Paris
29 July 1889

Tanguy, Peyron, Rivet Full Text La Crau with Peach Trees in Blossom: F 514, JH 1681; Red Chestnuts in the Public Park at Arles: F 517, JH 1689; Corner in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital, A: F 609, JH 1693
T14

Paris
4 August 1889

--- Poor fellow, how dearly I should like to know what to do to put a stop to this nightmare.

Full Text

---
T15

Paris
16 August 1889

(from Johanna to Vincent)

Cor Full Text ---
T16

Paris
5 September 1889

Bodmer, Rousseau, Pissarro, Tersteeg, J.H. Weissenbruch, Daumier, Jongkind, Gauguin, Lautrec, Seurat, Signac, Hayet, Mother, Cor You gave me the great pleasure by writing me a letter; when one knows nothing one is inclined to think things are worse than they really are.

Full Text

Starry Night over the Rhone: F 474, JH 1592; Irises: F 608, JH 1691; Enclosed Field with Ploughman: F 625, JH 1768; Enclosed Field with Ploughman: No F no., JH 1769
T17

Paris
18 September 1889

Pissarro, De Haan, Jouve, Rivet I am always afraid when you are working that way, in a frenzy--for you necessarily exhaust yourself by it.

Full Text

---
T18

Paris
4 October 1889

--- [Pissarro] knows somebody at Auvers who is a doctor and does painting in his spare moments.

Full Text

Mountainous Landscape behind Saint-Paul Hospital: F 611, JH 1723; Mountains at Saint-Remy with Dark Cottage: F 622, JH 1766
T19

Paris
21 October 1889

Peyron, Israël, Veth, Nieuve Gids, Van Rysselberghe, Tanguy, Gauguin, Guillaumin, Pissarro, Cor I have had quite a number of people calling on me to see your work.

Full Text

Tarascon Diligence: F 478a, JH 1605; Irises: F 608, JH 1691; Corner in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital, A: F 609, JH 1693; Starry Night: F 612, JH 1731; Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background: F 712, JH 1740
T20

Paris
16 November 1889

Bernard, Maus, Van Rysselberghe, Puvis de Chavannes, Bartholomé, Cézanne, Dubois, Pillot, Forain, Signac, L. Pissarro, Hayet, Renoir, Sisley, de Lautrec Please tell me what the condition of your clothes is. Don't you want something warm?

Full Text

Orchard in Blossom with View of Arles: F 516, JH 1685; Irises: F 608, JH 1691
T21

Paris
8 December 1889

Maus, Monticelli, Lauzet, Marvy, Bernard, Aurier Though I fully agree with you when you say in your last letter that you want to work like a cobbler, surely this will not prevent you from turning out canvases which will hold their own beside those of the masters.

Full Text

Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers: F 456, JH 1561; Still Life: Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers: F 458, JH 1677; Corner in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital, A: F 609, JH 1693
T22

Paris
22 December 1889

Monticelli, Lauzet, V. Hugo, Cottier, Reid, La Roquette, Marvy, Gauguin, Pissarro, Wil, Cor You say that at times you think you wold have done better to have remained a merchant, but do not say such things.

Full Text

Vincent's Bedroom in Arles: F 482, JH 1608; Vincent's Bedroom in Arles: F 484, JH 1671; Enclosed Field with Rising Sun: F 737, JH 1862
T23

Paris
3 January 1890

Wil, Mother, Gauguin, De Haan Full Text ---
T24

Paris
8 January 1890

Peyron, Tasset, Lauzet, Wil, Salles Full Text Evening: The Watch (after Millet): F 647, JH 1834; Road Menders, The: F 657, JH 1860; Les Peiroulets Ravine: F 662, JH 1804; Fountain in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital: F 1531, JH 1705
T25

Paris
22 January 1890

Lauzet, Montenard, Monticelli, Impressions of an Artist, Durer, d'amand-Durand, Millet, Rembrandt, Salles I read in a paper that the canvases which arouse the curiosity of the public the most are the open-air study by Cézanne, the landscapes by Sisley, the symphonies by Van Gogh and the works of Renoir.
I think we can wait patiently for success to come; you will surely live to see it. It is necessary to get well known without obtruding oneself, and it will come of its own accord by reason of your beautiful pictures.

Full Text

Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun: F 710, JH 1856
T26

Paris
29 January 1890

(from Johanna to Vincent)

--- Full Text ---
T27

Paris
31 January 1890

--- . . . my dear brother, the bad moment for Jo is past. She has brought into the world a beautiful boy, who cries a good deal, but who looks healthy.
How happy I should be if after some time, when Jo has recovered, you could come to see her and our little fellow. As we told you at the time, we are going to name him after you, and I devoutly hope that he will be able to be as persevering and as courageous as you.

Full Text

---
T28

Paris
9 February 1890

Wil, Degas, Van der Meer, "Little Philosophers" by Rembrandt, "Infanta Marguerita", Gauguin, De Haan, the Mirlitons, the Cercle Volney, the Aquarellists Gauguin arrived in Paris yesterday, and asked a lot of questions about you.

Full Text

---
T29

Paris
29 March 1890

Carnot, Gauguin, Seurat, Guillaumin, de Lautrec, Pissarro, Bernard, Aurier, Maus I hope, my dear brother, that you will be able to give us a more satisfactory report on your health very soon. If only you could see your little namesake you would feel happier.

Full Text

Red Vineyard, The: F 495, JH 1626; Les Peiroulets Ravine: F 662, JH 1804
T30

Paris
29 March 1890

(from Johanna to Vincent)

--- What [the baby] does do is look at Uncle Vincent's pictures with a good deal of interest--the tree in blossom especially, which is hanging over his bed, seems to enthrall him.

Full Text

Corner in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital, A: F 609, JH 1639
T31

Paris
29 March 1890

Gachet, Pissarro, Rembrandt Full Text ---
T32

Paris
23 April 1890

Peyron, Pissarro, Diaz, Monet, Serret, Lauzet Monet said that your pictures were the best of all in the exhibition.

Full Text

---
T33

Paris
3 May 1890

Tasset, Tanguy, Aurier, Peyron Full Text Cypresses with Two Female Figures: F 620, JH 1748; Portrait of Trabuc, an Attendant at Saint-Paul Hospital: F 629, JH 1774; Blossoming Almond Tree: F 671, JH 1891
T34

Paris
10 May 1890

Wil, Gachet, Peyron Full Text ---
T35

Paris
2 June 1890

Raffaelli, Mother Siron, Gachet, St. Cloud If you were here the little one would stir you up gently. How free a baby's smile is from all preoccupation.

Full Text

---
T36

Paris
5 June 1890

Gachet, Chaponval, Guillaumin, Gausson, Aurier Full Text Cypresses with Two Female Figures: F 620, JH 1748
T37

Paris
15 June 1890

Tasset, Tangui, De Bock Full Text L'Arlesienne: F 489, JH 1625
T38

Paris
23 June 1890

Borinage, Boch, Quost, Dr. Gachet Full Text Mountains at Saint-Rémy with Dark Cottage: F 622, JH 1766; Portrait of Doctor Gachet (etching): F 1664, JH 2028
T39

Paris
30 June or 1 July 1890

Quost, Peyron, Tersteeg, Mesdag, Arnold & Trip We have gone through a period of the greatest anxiety; our dear little boy has been very ill . . . .

Full Text

Marguerite Gachet at the Piano: F 772, JH 2048; Wheat Fields near Auvers: F 775, JH 2038
T40

Paris
5 July 1890

Pissarro, Monet, Walpole Brook, Dr. Gachet Full Text Marguerite Gachet at the Piano: F 772, JH 2048
T41

Paris
14 July 1890

Corot, Diaz Full Text ---
T41a

Paris
22 July 1890

Jo, Dries, Prévost, Gachet Full Text ---


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