My dear brother,
Thanks for your kind letter and for the 50-franc note it contained.
I’d really like to write to you about many things, but I sense the pointlessness of it.
I hope that you’ll have found those gentlemen favourably disposed towards you.1
You didn’t need to reassure me as to the state of peace of your household. I believe I’ve seen the good as much as the other side. And besides, am so much in agreement that raising a kid in a fourth floor apartment is hard labour, as much for you as for Jo. Since that’s going well, which is the main thing, should I go on about things of lesser importance? My word, there’s probably a long way to go before there’s a chance of talking business with more rested minds. That’s the only thing I can say at the moment, and that for my part I realized it with a certain horror, I haven’t yet hidden it, but that really is all.
The other painters, whatever they think about it, instinctively keep their distance from discussions on current trade. Ah well, really we can only make our paintings speak.
But however, my dear brother, there’s this that I’ve always told you, and I tell you again once more with all the gravity that can be imparted by the efforts of thought assiduously fixed on trying to do as well as one can – I tell you again that I’ll always consider that you’re something other than a simple dealer in Corots,2 that through my intermediacy you have your part in the very production of certain canvases, which even in calamity retain their calm. For that’s where we are, and that’s all, or at least the main thing I can have to tell you in a moment of relative crisis. In a moment when things are very tense between dealers in paintings – by dead artists – and living artists.
Ah well, I risk my life for my own work and my reason has half foundered in it – very well –
1v:3 but you’re not one of the dealers in men; as far as I know and can judge I think you really act with humanity, but what can you do