My dear friend Rappard,
Thank you for your letter, which I had already been looking forward to. I’m not surprised, by the way, that you thought the sheets sent recently1 beautiful. I for one can hardly imagine anything more beautiful in woodcut than Harbour of refuge2 or Low lodging house.3
Come soon and collect the remainder.
I know of no better way of determining which duplicates you have than for you to sort through them yourself, for listing the titles would be too laborious. But if you think you won’t be able to visit for the time being, and if you long to have them, I can make up a package with everything that I have in duplicate. I could send it to you and then you could keep what you don’t yet have and return the rest.
Be assured that if you would prefer that I’ll be only too pleased to do it.
I have a request for you, namely to give me the worst impression of the old women’s house by Herkomer (from the French illustrated magazine) that you already have.4 I have it myself, of course, but I have someone here for whom I want to make the beginnings of a collection, namely for the painter Van der Weele, the drawing teacher at the high school here.5 He’s made some 10 etchings himself — a little thin but still good — and at his studio I saw an excellent sketch of a ploughed field by evening6 and an outstanding small panel of hay-stacking which he has also etched.7 He’s someone who’ll become enthusiastic, I hope, and it may encourage him to press ahead vigorously with work in Black and White, whether in lithograph or etching or drawings.
With him in mind, I’d also like to ask you for other prints that you may have available in duplicate — I believe you still have the Gypsies by Régamey,8 for example.
I hope you’ll meet him when there’s an opportunity. He’s a fine chap.  1v:2
To make sure that I don’t give him prints that you don’t yet have, here’s a list of what I have ready for him:

Herkomer At death’s door9
Menzel Siesta10
      – Hunting field11
Renouard The orphanage12
      ,, Regattas13
Frère Snowballing14
Heilbuth By the water’s edge15

This week I bought some parts of vol. of Illustr., Monde Ill. and Univers Ill.16
I now have all six prints of The orphanage by Renouard in duplicate, and I list them here to make sure that you’re not missing any.

1 Abandonment
2 The crèche
3 The change .
4 Number 68.76217
5 Going to the dining room
and Time for porridge
6 Sheet with croquis of a rachitic child,
a scrofulous child &c

If you don’t have any of these, I can send them to you. I hope to get a copy of Fildes, C. Dickens’ Empty chair for you.18 I’ve been promised it.
Herewith a sample of that paper for lithography. I’ve scribbled on it a little with lithographic crayon and autographic ink and scraper in an attempt to combine the different modes on one sample, not of course to suggest that you should normally overwork a drawing like this.19
I scribbled this on a slip I had left and have no time to make a better one.
What can you see from this? First what kind of paper it is, second on which side you should draw, third that you can use all kinds of things on it — but the autographic ink isn’t to be trusted, sometimes it works very well in transferring, sometimes it runs (for the drawing is wetted when it’s laid face down on the grained stone and then pulled through the press until it’s transferred). So the ink can sometimes start to run again, and in that case you get a black cake instead of your drawing.  1v:3
Still, it can be done — and, above all, you can retouch in ink on the stone itself.
At the same time I’m sending you 2 samples of coarse paper that I believe is very good for mounting the woodcuts.
It sets them off well precisely because it’s so rough, and it has a most beautiful colour.
The changes to my studio have worked out very well. The light is now wonderful, am very happy with it.
I’ve finished mounting and cutting out The Graphic woodcuts. They look much better now that they’re arranged in order.
Do you know Dalziel as a draughtsman? I have a public house by him20 — something like the one by Green21 — very beautiful.
Well, my dear friend, perhaps I’ll write more soon. Wanted to send you the sample of lithographic paper without delay, but am busy. So regards, write again soon, and believe me

Ever yours,

Have a splendid Giacomelli, a large print of a flight of crows.22 I know your fine Bodmer, Eagle owls,23 well, but haven’t got them. There must be a great deal that’s beautiful in those old volumes of illustrated magazines.b


Br. 1990: 323 | CL: R29
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Anthon van Rappard
Date: The Hague, between about Friday, 23 and Monday, 26 February 1883

1. In letter 317 of on or about 20 February Van Gogh told Van Rappard that he had sent a roll of wood engravings.
4. It is not certain whether Herkomer’s Old age – A study at the Westminster Union [2034] (letter 303, n. 5) or Low lodging house St. Giles’s [2035] is meant. The ‘French illustrated magazine’ could be various magazines, among them Musée Universel, Le Monde Illustré, L’Univers Illustré and L’Illustration.
[2034] [2035]
6. For the subject of the ploughed field, cf. letter 285, n. 4.
7. It is not known which works by Van der Weele these are.
8. It is not clear which print Van Gogh means here. From the estate we know that in any event he had Guillaume Urbain Régamey, Vagrants in the lime-kilns near Paris, engraved by Henry Linton, in The Illustrated London News 65 (22 November 1874), p. 481. Ill. 1252 [1252] (t*302). But it is questionable whether by gypsies he also meant vagrants. Another possibility is that he means Félix Elie Régamey’s En route pour la foire (Going to the fair) in L’Univers Illustré 22 (3 May 1879), pp. 280-281. Ill. 2074 [2074].
[1252] [2074]
9. Hubert von Herkomer, At Death’s door, in The Graphic 14 (26 August 1876), Supplement, between pp. 206 and 207. Ill. 160 [160].
10. Adolf Menzel, The ‘siesta’, in The Graphic 14 (9 September 1876), pp. 252-253. Ill. 256 [256]. A print had also appeared in Harper’s Weekly 20 (23 September 1876), pp. 786-787.
11. Van Gogh indicated by a dash that he did not know the name of the artist. He had the 1876 volume of The Graphic in duplicate (as he writes in letter 304), so he probably means two prints that appeared under the heading In the hunting field – Home for the holidays in The Graphic 13 (22 January 1876), p. 92. The first had the legend ‘Trying his first hurdles’, and the second ‘Getting his first brush’. Ill. 2075 [2075]. The signature of the artist may read ‘SH’.
12. For Renouard’s series The orphanage [1956] [1957] [1970] [1959] [396] [395] [1978], which is listed in detail later in the letter, see letter 268, n. 6.
16. These are sheets from the magazines L’Illustration, Le Monde Illustré and L’Univers Illustré.
17. Van Gogh was mistaken about the number; it should be Les enfants assistés – Le numéro 68.782 [395] (The orphanage – Number 68.782).
a. Means: ‘doodwerken’ (overwork).
19. This sheet is not known.
20. Edward Gurden Dalziel, London sketches – Sunday afternoon, 1 pm – Waiting for the public house to open, in The Graphic 9 (10 January 1874), p. 41. There is one copy in the estate. Ill. 737 [737] (t*146). Below it is written: ‘E.G. Dalziel’ (Van Gogh spells the name without an ‘l’). The pose of the woman crying was used by Van Gogh for his drawings Woman sitting on a basket with her head in her hands (F 1060 / JH 326) and (F 1069 / JH 325).
21. Charles Green, A Sunday afternoon in a gin palace, in The Illustrated London News 74 (8 February 1879), between pp. 134 and 135. There is one copy in the estate. Ill. 893 [893] (t*173).
22. Hector Giacomelli, L’hiver (Winter), engraved by Fortuné Louis Méaulle, in Le Monde Illustré 23 (8 March 1879), pp. 152-153. Ill. 871 [871].
23. Karl Bodmer, Assemblee de grands-ducs (Assembly of eagle owls), ‘Série de vingt eau-fortes, no. 14’. Ill. 601 [601] (Paris, BNF, Cabinet des Estampes).
a. Since Van Gogh abbreviated ‘jaarg. illustr.’ (‘vol. illustr.’) it is uncertain whether he meant this to be in the singular or the plural. It is possible that ‘illustr.’ refers to a specific magazine, in which case the translation should read ‘in that old volume of L’Illustration’.