1. The Langlois bridge with washerwomen (F 397 / JH 1368 [2571]).
2. The Gleize bridge with washerwomen (F 396 / JH 1367 [2570]).
3. Avenue of plane trees (F 398 / JH 1366 [2569]).
4. Among these twelve studies, aside from the three works just mentioned, were the eight studies referred to in letter 583: An old woman of Arles (F 390 / JH 1357 [2561]), Landscape with snow (F 290 / JH 1360 [2564]), View of a butcher’s shop (F 389 / JH 1359 [2563]), Landscape with snow (F 391 / JH 1358 [2562]), Sprig of almond blossom in a glass (F 392 / JH 1361 [2565]), Sprig of almond blossom in a glass with a book (F 393 / JH 1362 [2566]), Basket of oranges (F 395 / JH 1363 [2567]) and a study, possibly Bowl of Potatoes (F 386 / JH 1365 [2568]). The twelfth work was Pollard willows with setting sun (F 572 / JH 1597 [2727]) (see letter 584, n. 7).
[2561] [2564] [2563] [2562] [2565] [2566] [2567] [2568] [2727]
5. Van Gogh exhibited three works with the Indépendants; see letter 582, n. 9.
6. In 1888 Signac lived at 130 boulevard de Clichy, where he also had his studio. Theo could have visited him there, or it might have been in his mother’s house in Asnières, where Signac often received his friends.
7. Christian Mourier-Petersen – whom Van Gogh refers to as ‘young’, but who was actually only five years younger than him – had studied medicine for some time in Copenhagen prior to 1880. He came from a family of landowners and had the considerable sum of 6000 Danish Kroner available for his planned three-year ‘Grand Tour’ to the south of Europe. See Larsson 1993, pp. 12-13.
8. At eleven o’clock in the evening of 11 March the Zouaves Louis-Edouard Dupont and Jean Destanque were stabbed to death when leaving a brothel in rue des Récollets after a row with three Italian labourers. This brothel, the ‘maison de tolérance’ no. 14 on the corner of the rue du Bout d’Arles and rue des Récollets, must have been the one that Van Gogh visited. See Murphy 2016, pp. 60-61, 270 (n. 8). The investigation of the crime (and hence also Van Gogh’s brothel visit) took place in the afternoon of Monday, 12 March. See further n. 11 below.
9. Rue des Récollets opened off rue de la Cavalerie, where Van Gogh’s boarding-house was.
10. The central character in Daudet’s novels Tartarin de Tarascon (1872) and Tartarin sur les Alpes (1885); see letter 583, n. 9.
11. The local newspapers L’Homme de Bronze and Le Forum Républicain reported on the occurrence at length in their editions of Sunday, 18 March. L’Intransigeant of 19 March 1888 also covered it. The incident brought the whole town of Arles up in arms. When the offenders were rounded up, the buildings where they were locked up were besieged by a crowd of angry inhabitants. They also drove virtually all the Italians out of the town, prompted in part by anger that they took a lot of jobs while there was high unemployment among the local population. The murdered Zouaves were buried with great ceremony on Wednesday, 14 March, and the event attracted crowds of people.
For the ‘petits ramoneurs savoyards’ see www.hautesavoiephotos.com.
12. For Van Gogh’s knowledge and use of the perspective frame see letter 235, n. 10 and cat. Amsterdam 2011. See for the three studies: nn. 1-3 above.
13. In the fifteenth century artists made the paint thicker and more stable by adding special oil. Jan van Eyck was certainly one of the first artists to use this technique, but contrary to what is often asserted he did not invent it.
14. These letters were enclosed with letter 588.