[Letterhead: Goupil Paris]

Paris, 28 March 1876

My dear Theo,
A few more words, probably the last I’ll write to you from Paris.
I’ll probably leave here on Friday evening to be home on Saturday morning at the same time as at Christmas.1
Yesterday I saw around 6 paintings by Michel,2 how I wish you’d been there, sunken roads through sandy soil leading to a mill, or a man going home over the heath or sandy ground with a grey sky above, so simple and so fine. It seems to me that the pilgrims on their way to Emmaus3 saw nature as Michel does, I always think of them whenever I see one of his paintings.
At the same time I saw a painting by Jules Dupré,  1r:2 and a very large one at that.
As far as the eye could see, black marshy terrain, in the middle distance a river and in the foreground a pond (near it 3 horses). Reflected in both, the bank of white and grey clouds behind which the sun has set; on the horizon some greyish red and purple, the upper sky a gentle blue.4
I saw these paintings at Durand-Ruel’s. There they have no fewer than 25 etchings after Millet, and the same number after Michel, and masses after Dupré and Corot and all other artists, to be had for 1 franc apiece. That’s tempting indeed. I couldn’t resist buying a couple after Millet:5 I bought the last 3 of The evening angelus,6 and my brother will of course receive one when the opportunity arises.
I hear that Mr Iterson is coming to live at the Rooses’, he’s the youngest, I believe.7 Write again soon. Regards to everyone at the Rooses’ and to Mr and Mrs Tersteeg and to anyone who might ask after me, and in thought a handshake, and ever

Your loving brother



Br. 1990: 072 | CL: 58
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Paris, Tuesday, 28 March 1876

1. Van Gogh was planning to take the train from Paris on Friday, 31 March at 20.00 and arrive the following morning before 11.00 at Etten; Mr van Gogh, who was extremely disappointed, had suggested that, ‘if he continued to love his profession, he could even set up in business himself ... If only he were keen and energetic and could make a start by himself’ (FR b955, 31 March, to Theo); see also FR b956. Regarding Van Gogh’s visit to his parents at Christmas, see letter 63, n. 2.
2. As emerges from what follows, Van Gogh saw Michel’s paintings at Durand-Ruel’s gallery. It is impossible to say exactly which works he is referring to, because a number Michel’s works, displaying similar motifs, were exhibited (written communication from Caroline Durand Ruel Godfroy, 4 July 2001).
3. Cf. Luke 24:13 ff.
a. Read: ‘De streep... wolken’.
4. It can no longer be ascertained which work by Jules Dupré Van Gogh is referring to here, because at the time Durand-Ruel had a number of titles with similar motifs in stock (written communication from Caroline Durand Ruel Godfroy, 4 July 2001).
5. Van Gogh is referring to the series Receuil d’estampes gravées à l’eau-fort. See Galerie Durand-Ruel. Receuil d’estampes. Preface by Armand Silvestre. Paris and London 1873. This series contains 300 etchings. Van Gogh’s subsequent estimates are fairly accurate, since there were 27 etchings after works by Millet, 29 after Georges Michel, the same number after Jules Dupré, and 28 after Camille Corot. The complete series is to be found in the library of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
6. The etching L’Angélus made by Martinez after Jean-François Millet’s The angelus [1697] was sold as no. 10. Ill. 1766 [1766]. Van Gogh owned this etching, on which he applied squaring lines (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, t*49). Cf. exhib. cat. Amsterdam 1988, p. 10.
[1697] [1766]
7. This most likely refers to the carpenter, later clerk, Willem Frederik van Iterson, the youngest son of Everardus van Iterson and Francina Adriana Jacobs. Willem registered on 30 September 1875 as a resident of The Hague (BR Leiderdorp). This Willem occurs a number of times in the family correspondence (FR b2767, b2507 and b2377).