1. Van Gogh spent the Christmas holidays with his parents.
2. From a letter written by Mr van Gogh to Theo, it emerges that Vincent’s further study was a matter of some concern: ‘How will it go? That is not yet clear, though we hope for the best’ (FR b961, 9 January 1878).
3. Johannes Kuylman was a minister at Princenhage.
4. The map of Scotland copied by Vincent from Stieler’s atlas, which Theo was supposed to send to Harry Gladwell in Paris in one of Goupil’s shipments (see letter 137); what ‘&c.’ refers to is unclear.
5. From letters 141 and 142 it appears that Gladwell had quit his job at Goupil’s and returned to his parents’ home in London (Lewisham).
6. Possibly the etching after Meissonier’s The reader [1884]; see letter 152, n. 13.
7. It is not certain which lithograph Vincent is referring to here. Cf. the possible reference to Breton’s Women hoeing [1889] in letter 156, n. 11.
8. The stationmaster Marinus Hackstroh, who was married to Elisabeth Clara Johanna de Bock. They lived at de Baai F 25 and were friends of the Van Gogh family (cf., among others, FR b995, b2474 and b2762).
9. The motif of the sewing school was depicted by a number of artists, including Jozef Israëls: Sewing school at Katwijk [200] (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum).
10. Théodule Ribot, The prayer (present whereabouts unknown; Salon 1863). Ribot’s etching La prière, which measures 18 x 24 cm, was published in the first series of Eaux-fortes modernes, publiées par la Société des Aquafortistes (September 1862), no. 5. The print, which is also known as L’école maternelle (The nursery school), bears the text ‘Regina virginum ora pro nobis’. Published by A. Cadart & F. Chevalier. Ill. 1271 [1271].
11. Charles Emile Jacque, La prière (Enfants en prière) (The prayer (Children praying)), 1843. Printed by Delâtre, Paris for L’Artiste. J.-J. Guiffrey, L’Oeuvre de Ch. Jacque. Catalogue de ses eaux-fortes et pointes sèches. Paris 1866, p. 36, no. 11 (Alliance des Arts, no. 350). Ill. 1865 [1865]. This etching measures 6.4 x 10.0 cm.
12. The French Revolution of 1789.
13. The Netherlands’ war against Spain, 1568-1648.