1. A ‘daily text’ (a ‘lesson’) is an edifying text written on calenders or in booklets for the pious to reflect upon. The text for 30 March was based on Gen. 22:14, ‘The Lord will provide’, as emerges from l. 81 in the part written by Mr van Gogh.
2. Willemina Catharina Gerardina Carbentus, a sister of Mrs van Gogh, was married to Johannes Paulus Stricker. They were the parents of Cornelia Adriana Stricker, referred to as Kee Vos, who in 1872 had married Christoffel Martinus Vos. Vos had a weak constitution.
3. Cornelis (Cor) Vincent van Gogh, the youngest son in the family.
4. Van Gogh left Paris on Friday, 31 March, arriving in Etten a day later (FR b955 and b956).
5. The teacher William Port Stokes. His school was at 6 Royal Road in Ramsgate, a coastal town in the south-east of England. See exhib. cat. Nottingham 1974, p. 13 and exhib. cat. London 1992, p. 12 (with ill.).
6. Uncle Hein van Gogh had been suffering for quite some time from an unidentified wasting disease.
a. Meaning: ‘de trein’ (the train).
7. The Louvre still has many Rembrandts; see Jacques Foucart, Peintures de Rembrandt au Louvre. Paris 1982. Van Gogh previously mentioned the Louvre’s Pilgrims at Emmaus [1710], Philosopher in meditation [1711] and Philosopher with an open book [1712]; later he mentions seeing The Holy Family (The carpenter’s household) [354] and The skinned ox in the museum.
[1710] [1711] [1712] [354]
8. On Rembrandt’s Jan Six [1737], see letter 47, n. 8. Although the sitter was not yet a burgomaster of Amsterdam when his portrait was painted in 1654 (he was not appointed to the office until 1691), the painting was known as the Portrait of burgomaster Six.
9. Alfred Sensier, Etude sur George Michel; see letter 44, n. 2.
10. Theo was planning to be in Etten on Saturday, 8 April (FR b956).
11. Vincent had turned 23 on 30 March.
12. Béraldi’s description of Théophile-Narcisse Chauvel’s etching Après la pluie, à Vaujours (After the rain at Vaujours) is similar to Van Gogh’s description: ‘Sheep, led by a shepherdess, come towards the foreground on a path; on the left, elm trees, overcast weather ... For L’Album Cadart. 1876. Eight states’. See Béraldi 1885-1892, vol. 4, p. 148, no. 34. The etching Le retour du troupeau (The return of the flock) corresponds closely to this description (Paris, BNF, Cabinet des Estampes). Ill. 1767 [1767].
13. The municipality of Laken near Brussels, where Uncle Hein lived.
14. Cf. Ps. 143:10 and hymn 143:11.
15. See n. 1.
16. Anna and Willemien, both of whom lived in Welwyn.