1. After the brothers had agreed in March 1884 that Vincent would send Theo work in return for a monthly allowance, Vincent made a number of works for Theo; see letters 440 ff. Because of the tensions between them this had come to a dead end.
2. Van Gogh is probably referring here to Woman winding yarn (F 36 / JH 698 [2498]); it measures 40.5 x 31.7 cm and is the only known painting of this subject dating from this period. Cf. cat. Amsterdam 1999, pp. 114-117, cat. no. 21.
3. The first painted studies that Vincent had sent Theo were works from Drenthe, at the end of September and in November 1883 (see letters 389 and 406).
4. See for Léon Augustin Lhermitte, The woodcutters [216]: letter 484, n. 5.
5. In view of his choice of words in letter 484, l. 51, it is possible that Van Gogh wrote ‘bemoste’ (moss-grown) rather than ‘berookte’ (smoke-blackened).
6. Given that Van Gogh attributed the saying ‘je me souviens’ (I remember) to Gustave Doré in letter 537, this is who he must mean here. See letter 537, n. 16.
7. The letter sketches Head of a woman and Seated woman (both F - / JH 713) are after Head of a woman (F 70 / JH 715) and Head of a woman (F 70a / JH 716).
8. There are several known works in which these light effects occur; it is not possible to identify the ones Van Gogh is referring to here.