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RM24 To Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger. Auvers-sur-Oise, Monday, 7 July 1890.

No. RM24 (Brieven 1990 902, Complete Letters 647)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger
Date: Auvers-sur-Oise, Monday, 7 July 1890

Source status
Original manuscript

Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b695 V/1962

Vincent visited Theo and Jo on Sunday, 6 July 1890 and probably wrote this short letter the day after. It was ripped up and never sent, the reason for which emerges at the beginning of letter 898: after meanwhile being reassured by a letter from Jo (which is no longer known), it would have been pointless to send the present letter.
Some time later, namely on 24 August 1890, Theo wrote to his mother and Willemien: ‘In a letter from V which we found, written immediately upon returning to Auvers after visiting us recently, he says’ [the rest is lacking] (FR b936). This must refer to the present letter, which was presumably reassembled only later. See Hulsker 1998, p. 49. Like Hulsker, Pickvance also thought that the sheet had not been sent. He initially dated it to about Monday, 7 July, but later described it as ‘perhaps a draft of a lost letter, possibly of about 15 July 1890’. However, Van Gogh is unlikely to have reacted so emotionally after a week had elapsed, especially after receiving a reassuring letter from Jo (see letter 898) and letter 900 of 14 July. Cf. exhib. cat. New York 1986, pp. 213, 292.

original text
Cher frère & soeur,
Mon impression est qu’étant un peu ahuris tous et d’ailleurs tous un peu en travail, il importe relativement peu d’insister pour avoir des définitions bien nettes de la position dans laquelle on se trouve.1 Vous me surprenez un peu, semblant vouloir forcer la situation étant en desaccord.
Y puis je quoi que ce soit – peutetre pas – mais ai je fait quelque chôse de travers ou enfin puis je faire chôse ou autre que vous désireriez.
Quoi qu’il en soit, en pensée encore une bonne poignée de main – et cela m’a quand même fait beaucoup de plaisir de vous revoir tous.2 Soyez en bien assurés.

b. à v.

Dear brother and sister,
My impression is that as we’re all a little dazed, and moreover all working quite hard, it’s relatively unimportant to insist on having very clear-cut definitions of the position in which we find ourselves.1 You surprise me a little, seeming to want to force the situation, being in disagreement.  1v:2
Can I do anything about it – perhaps not – but have I done something wrong, or anyway can I do something or other that you would like?
Whatever the case, again a good handshake in thought – and it nevertheless gave me a lot of pleasure to see you all again.2 Be very much assured of that.

Yours truly,
1. Vincent is referring to the fact that Theo was thinking of leaving the firm of Boussod, Valadon & Cie.
2. Vincent had visited Theo and Jo in Paris on Sunday, 6 July. See letter 898, n. 3.