[Letterhead: Goupil Paris]

Paris, 13 Dec. 1875

My dear Theo,
I’d been longing to receive your letter of this morning, and am very glad that you’re getting better again. The parcel for you was sent only today; the little book by Jules Breton is in it.1
I’m longing for Christmas and to see you, old boy, but now we’ll be there soon enough. I’ll probably be leaving here Thursday week, in the evening.
Do everything you can to get as long a holiday as possible.
One more thing, though, please forgive my saying it. You and I both liked the poems by Heine and Uhland,2 but watch out, old boy, it’s pretty dangerous stuff. The illusion won’t last long, don’t surrender to it.
Shouldn’t you get rid of those little books I wrote in for you?3  1v:2 Those books by Heine and Uhland will fall into your hands again later on, and then you’ll read them with different feelings and with a calmer heart. I like Erckmann-Chatrian very much, you know that. Do you know L’ami Fritz?4
To return again to Heine.
Take the portrait of Father and Mother and take ‘Farewells’ by Brion,5 and then read Heine with those three before your eyes; then you’ll see what I mean. But, old chap, surely you know that I’m not lecturing you or preaching a moralizing sermon. I know you have in your heart what I have in mine, that’s why I sometimes talk to you so seriously. But in any event try this test sometime.
And now, get well soon and do write again soon. How is Willem Valkis? Give my regards to him and to all your housemates and to all who know me, also Van Iterson.
We have a beautiful painting by Schreyer here at present, a wagon with horses in an autumnal landscape at sunset.6 Also a splendid Jacque, a sombre landscape  1v:3 with sheep. What do you think of that small Jacque, ‘Ploughing’, which has been in The Hague for some time?7
I sincerely wish you the best and, again, a speedy recovery. Ever

Your loving brother.


Br. 1990: 061 | CL: 49
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Paris, Monday, 13 December 1875

1. Vincent had promised to send Theo Jules Breton’s Les champs et la mer; see letters 60 and 61.
2. Ludwig Uhland was an important exponent of Late Romanticism in Germany.
3. Van Gogh had copied texts, including poems by Heine and Uhland, into two little books for Theo. See Pabst 1988, pp. 33-36.
6. It is not know which paintings this refers to.
7. The painting Ploughing by Charles Emile Jacque had been sent from Goupil’s in Paris, arriving at the Hague branch on 13 September 1875. It was shipped back to Paris on 9 February 1876 (RKD, Goupil Ledgers).