1. Theo would not visit The Hague again until August 1883 (see letter 373).
2. Vincent had asked Theo more than once to return earlier sketches and studies (from the model).
3. For the engraving after Roll’s A miners’ strike [1950], see letter 263, n. 5. The painting A miners’ strike (lost) is reproduced in Weisberg 1992, p. 98, ill. 108.
a. Means: ‘gekantelde’ (overturned).
b. Means: ‘als één geheel (‘masse’) samengebracht, zonder dat de details zijn uitgewerkt’ (brought together as one whole ((mass)), without the details being elaborated).
4. This was L’Illustration of 29 October 1881.
5. For Emslie’s A colliery explosion [1951], to which Van Gogh implicitly referred earlier, see letter 263, n. 6.
6. In letter 152 Van Gogh writes that he had once spoken to a man who managed to restrain striking workers; it is not known when he himself was present at a strike.
7. Here Van Gogh is referring to the conclusion of the following conversation: ‘One day, Corot said to Daubigny: I’m not happy: I lack skill. What do you mean, you lack skill? replied Daubigny. You put nothing on the canvas, and it’s all there!’ (Un jour, Corot disait à Daubigny:– Je ne suis pas content: je manque de métier.– Comment, tu manques de métier? répliqua Daubigny. Tu ne mets rien sur la toile, et tout y est!). Quoted in Corot 1946, p. 102, and in L. Roger-Milès, Corot. Paris 1891, p. 38.
8. A ‘history painting’ is a painting on a subject taken from classical antiquity, the Bible or history.
9. Théodore Géricault, The raft of the Medusa, 1819 (Paris, Musée du Louvre). Ill. 870 [870]. There were various prints after this work. See Lorenz Eitner, Géricault’s raft of the Medusa. London 1972.
10. The painter Mihály (von) Munkácsy was acclaimed for his virtuoso painting technique, dramatic chiaroscuro and forceful portrayal of character.
11. The descriptions of these figure drawings are too general for them to be identified with specific works.
12. These are the small watercolours of the four seasons that Vincent had sent to Theo – of them Miners in the snow: winter (F 1202 / JH 229) and Orchard in blossom with two figures: spring (F 1245 / JH 230) are known; see letter 271.
13. Four people on a bench (F - / JH 195), sent with letter 262.
14. Theo had earlier sent descriptions of a scene in Montmartre and ‘the effect of the chestnut trees’ (letters 260 and 264). Immediately after referring to Theo’s third evocation, Vincent begins a detailed evocation of his own that is full of colour.
15. This boy is possibly depicted in the drawings Boy with a spade (F 827 / JH C.B.) and Boy with a spade (F 986 / JH 231). See cat. Otterlo 2007, p. 160.
[833] [389]
16. The drawings modelled for by workers from De Zwart’s carpenter’s yard at this time may include Carpenter (F 1043 / JH 206); Carpenter seen from the back (F 1042 / JH 207) and Carpenter with an apron (F 1044 / JH 208).
[390] [392]
17. A drawing of two children under an umbrella is not known.
18. Two women (F 988 / JH 232 [2403]).
19. Man and woman seen from the back (F 991 / JH 233 [2404]).