1. Van Gogh had meanwhile installed himself in Brussels in a small lodging-house at 72 boulevard du Midi (Zuidlaan). He was not registered at this address, however. For a photo of this location (from the Archives de la Ville de Bruxelles), see Tralbaut 1969, p. 74.
2. Theo had visited Vincent in August 1879; see letter 154.
3. Vincent’s mention of the third part of Cours de dessin actually refers to the second part, Modèles d’après les maîtres de toutes les époques et de toutes les écoles; he took Exercices au fusain to be the first part, even though it appeared independently. The second part of Cours de dessin contains many portraits, the majority of which (at least 22) are after Hans Holbein. The copy consulted by the Van Gogh Museum contains a total of 60 sample sheets (this series appeared from October 1868 to April 1870), but there must have been 67. Three drawings by Van Gogh after Holbein are known; see letter 160, n. 12 and letter 169.
4. Cf. the saying ‘l’union fait la force’ (strength through unity).
5. It is not certain which woodcut after Millet’s The woodcutter Theo sent; perhaps it was the print of ‘an old woodcutter alone in the wood’, about which Vincent had enquired a month earlier (see letter 157, n. 28).
6. For Ruisdael’s The bush [1717], see letter 35, n. 5.
7. Charles Bargue’s Cours de dessin contained two sample drawings of the head of Dante Alighieri. In vol. 1, Modèles d’après la bosse (‘Heads in profile’), no. 34 is a drawing from a plaster cast. Ill. 1897 [1897]. In vol. 2, Modèles d’après les maîtres de toutes les époques et de toutes les écoles, no. 32 is Raphael’s Head of Dante Alighieri (after The disputation of the Holy Sacrament in the Vatican). Ill. 1898 [1898].
[1897] [1898]
8. Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Bruxelles (Royal Academy of Fine Arts of the City of Brussels). On this academy, see De Bodt 1995, pp. 49-56.
9. It is not certain exactly which course by Auguste Allongé Van Gogh is referring to here. By this time there were several on the market, in both book and loose-leaf form, such as the Collection de 30 paysages au fusain par A. Allongé. Paris 1877; Collection de 18 facsimilés d’après A. Allongé. Paris 1877; and La forêt de Fontainebleau. Douze compositions facsimilés par Allongé. Paris 1879. There was, moreover, an advertisement in Karl Robert, Le fusain sans maitre: Traité pratique et complet sur l’étude du paysage au fusain. Followed by lessons reproduced by means of heliogravure by the house of Goupil & Cie after Allongé, with the ‘Spécialité de l’étude du Paysage au fusain par M.M. Allongé & Karl Robert’, including Le fusain and La forêt de Fontainebleau (4th ed. Paris 1879).
10. Schmidt had his shop at rue du Marché aux Herbes 89; he himself moved house on 12 December 1880 from Hofbergstraat 58 to Ukkel (SAB). For the location of his shop, see the photograph in De Bodt 1995, ill. 39.