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522 To Theo van Gogh. Nuenen, Wednesday, 29 July 1885.

No. 522 (Brieven 1990 525, Complete Letters 419)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Nuenen, Wednesday, 29 July 1885

Source status
Original manuscript

Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b457 V/1962

The letter was written early in the day on which Theo and Andries Bonger were to arrive in Nuenen. We assume that this was Wednesday, 29 July 1885 (see n. 1).

original text
Waarde Theo,
met dit woordje zeg ik U vast goeden dag.1 Ik wou het U convenieerde met Uw vriend Bonger van middag voor ge gaat eten, dus – laat ons zeggen tusschen 3 & 5 even bij mij een kijkje te komen nemen.
Ik dacht dit misschien ’t beste uit zou komen – daar ze U dan ’t huis toch den heelen avond hebben. Daar men op ’t veld aan het korenmaaien is, ben ik nog al bezet want ge weet, dat duurt maar weinige dagen en is zeker bijna het allermooiste.
Maar ik zorg heden bij mij op de werkplaats te wezen tusschen 3 & 5. S’avonds kom ik nog wel eens bij moe t’huis praten.
Maar overigens moet ge me niet kwalijk nemen dat ik doorwerk.
Met een handdruk.

b. à t.

My dear Theo,
Just a word to bid you good-day.1 I hope it will be convenient for you and your friend Bonger to look in on me this afternoon before you eat, so — let’s say between 3 and 5.
I thought this would perhaps work out best — since then they’ll still have you at home the whole evening. I’m rather busy, since they’re harvesting the wheat in the fields and, as you know, this takes only a few days and is certainly almost the most beautiful of all.
But I’ll make sure to be in my studio today between 3 and 5. In the evening I’ll drop in at Ma’s for a talk.
But for the rest, you mustn’t take it amiss of me if I keep on working.
With a handshake.

Yours truly,
1. Theo travelled to the Netherlands with his friend Andries Bonger, who also lived and worked in Paris. They shared a great interest in art and literature. They set out on Saturday, 26 July, going first to Lille, where they went to the Musée Wicart (now the Palais de Beaux-Arts) on Sunday, 27 July. The same day they went on to Ghent. They also visited Antwerp before going to Nuenen. Taking into account the proposed visits to museums and the travelling times involved, Wednesday, 29 July would seem to be the most likely date for their arrival; this assumption is reinforced by the fact that, according to the present letter, they arrived during the day, before 3.00 p.m. Andries was also reckoning to leave for Amsterdam on the Thursday evening or Friday morning. Theo followed him on 7 August to visit Andries and his parents; on Wednesday, 12 August they were back at work in Paris; they probably returned on Sunday, 9 August. (FR b1818 and b1819).
On 14 September 1919 Andries Bonger wrote to Karel Joan Lodewijk Alberdingk Thijm (the writer Lodewijk van Deyssel): ‘We hardly know Brabant at all. I visited Vincent van Gogh there in ’85 when he was living in Nuenen. I have lovely memories of our evening strolls among the wheatfields and our visits to the homes of the weavers’ (FR b1443).