1. Three of the five still lifes are still known: Still life with cabbage and clogs (F 1 / JH 81 [2350]), corresponding to letter sketch C; Still life with an earthenware pot and clogs (F 63 / JH 920 [2525]), see letter 191); and Still life with a straw hat (F 62 / JH 922 [2526]). Letter sketch B gives an impression of the fourth (unknown) still life of a terracotta child’s head with a fur cap.
[2350] [2525] [2526]
2. The two watercolours are Scheveningen woman sewing (F 869 / JH 83 [3031]), on which letter sketch D is based (F - / JH 86), and Scheveningen woman knitting (F 870 / JH 84 [2352]), depicted in letter sketch E (F - / JH 87). There is a third watercolour, Scheveningen woman (F 871 / JH 85 [2353]), whose smaller measurements probably put it in the category of the above-mentioned ‘scratches’, an impression of which is given in letter sketch A (F - / JH 88). See cat. Amsterdam 1996, pp. 99-101, cat. no. 22.
[3031] [2352] [2353]
a. Meaning: ‘showy’ (here ‘vulgar’).
3. Mrs van Gogh wrote to Theo about the prevailing mood of optimism: ‘Received cheerful letters from Vincent about his work. He sees riches in store; for us it’s enough that he’s hard at work and receiving capable instruction; he didn’t know yet but thought he’d come home at the end of the week. We have no studio in mind as yet, but he must see it for himself, there aren’t many large rooms facing north. Well, may he succeed in his work’ (FR b2239, 19 December 1881).
4. This was Scheveningen woman knitting (F 870 / JH 84 [2352]). In July 1882 Van Gogh gave this watercolour to the assistant physician Cornelis Anthonie Molenaar (see letter 245).