Back to site

586 Paul Gauguin to Vincent van Gogh. Pont-Aven, between about Saturday, 17 and about Monday, 19 March 1888.

No. 586 (Brieven 1990 588, Complete Letters GAC 29)
From: Paul Gauguin
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Pont-Aven, between about Saturday, 17 and about Monday, 19 March 1888

Source status
Original manuscript

Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b840 V/1962

Gauguin thanks Van Gogh for his reply to letter 581 of about 29 February 1888. Cooper dated the present letter to about 19 March 1888; Merlhès to about 14-16 March; but neither put forward any arguments for this. In any event the letter dates from before about 21 March since this is when Vincent sent it on to Theo, enclosed with letter 588. Since Gauguin complains of the ‘continual wind and rain’ (l. 19) and the wind began to strengthen in the west in the evening of the 16th, we have dated the letter between about Saturday, 17 and about Monday, 19 March 1888. See Gauguin lettres 1983, p. 209, Correspondance Gauguin 1984, p. 174 and Météo-France.

The letter was sent on to Theo with letter 588.

Ongoing topic
Gauguin’s illness (581)

original text
Mon cher Vincent
Merci de m’avoir répondu;1 je vois que vous êtes en bon endroit pour étudier le soleil qui vous charme et vous travaillez d’autant mieux que le sujet vous empoigne.– Merci encore de vos bonnes intentions à mon égard;2 le commerce de tableaux est si dur à notre époque.– Quoique cela je suis ici dans les transes perpetuelles; les ennuis d’argent sont les seuls qui ont de l’action sur moi et malheureusement je me crois destiné à  1v:2 toujours les subir.–
Pont Aven est en ce moment très triste par suite du mauvais temps, vents et pluies continuelles, et j’attends les beaux jours pour me remettre au travail que j’ai un peu abandonné par suite de maladie.–
Cordialement la main.

Paul Gauguin

Pont Aven – pension Gloanec

My dear Vincent
Thank you for replying;1 I see that you’re in a good spot to study the sun that enchants you, and you’re working all the better because the subject grips you. Thank you again for your good will towards me;2 the trade in paintings is so hard in our day and age. Despite that, I’m in a state of constant agony here; money worries are the only ones that have an effect on me, and unfortunately  1v:2 I believe I’m fated always to suffer from them.
Pont-Aven is very dreary at the moment because of the bad weather, continual wind and rain, and I’m waiting for the fine days to get back to work, which I’ve neglected a bit owing to illness.
A cordial handshake.

Paul Gauguin

Pont-Aven — Pension Gloanec
1. This letter – Van Gogh’s reply to Gauguin’s letter 581 – has not survived.
2. Vincent had urged Theo to do his best to sell Gauguin’s work, and had given Russell and Gauguin each other’s addresses in the hope that Russell might buy a painting from Gauguin. See letter 582 and 583.