My dear Uncle,
Since Theo is coming to see you1 and I have a request to make of you, I’m taking this opportunity to ask you the following. If you would permit me to come and see your paintings I haven’t seen any paintings for a long time, and long so much to see some that I’m overlooking everything to ask this of you.2
Theo has two small studies of mine with him – the colour of both is colder than I should like. I have two others of the same size that are warmer.3
If you perhaps have any old grooved frames that you don’t have an immediate use for, I should like very much to trade one of these 4 studies for a frame.

Your servant


Br. 1990: 193 | CL: 165a
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Cornelis Marinus van Gogh
Date: Nuenen, Thursday, 6 or Friday, 7 August 1885

1. On Friday, 7 August 1885 Theo travelled from Nuenen to Amsterdam, one reason for his trip being a visit to the Rijksmuseum, which had opened in July. He stayed with the family of Andries Bonger (FR b889). Cf. also Date.
2. Vincent and Uncle Cor had last met at the end of March, in the days after Mr van Gogh’s death, at which time Uncle Cor had visited Vincent’s studio (see letter 489). Their relations were still strained, however.
3. This suggests that Theo had several of the small studies of huts with him, which Vincent had mentioned in letter 513: several of those huts were painted ‘much brighter’ (see n. 1 to that letter). It seems as though Vincent preferred the darker versions but Theo thought it better to show the brighter ones.
The contrast of ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ colours was no doubt prompted by his reading of Félix Bracquemond’s Du dessin et de la couleur (see also letters 530 and 531).
a. Frames with vertical grooves.