1. The ‘old peasant’ is Patience Escalier, who had previously posed for Van Gogh; see letter 663. The new portrait is Patience Escalier (‘The peasant’) (F 444 / JH 1563 [2705]).
2. We do not know who this Arlésienne was. Evidently she did not come back to sit for him, so Van Gogh was unable to finish the picture (at any rate there is no such portrait dating from this period; it was not until letter 717 that Van Gogh was able to report ‘I have an Arlésienne at last’. Dorn wrongly associates this passage with the painting Portrait of a woman with carnations (F 381 / JH 1355); see letter 658, n. 11.
3. Since Van Gogh had expressed a desire to paint a study of oleanders shortly before (see letter 660), it seems likely that he carried out his plan here. There are two still lifes of oleanders: Oleander branches in a majolica jug (F 593 / JH 1566) and Oleander branches in a majolica jug (F 594 / JH 1567). Zinnias in a majolica jug (F 592 / JH 1568 [2706]) also dates from late August, early September, given the flowering times of the species pictured (zinnias, asters and marigolds).
The still life of shoes is Shoes (F 461 / JH 1569 [2707]).
[2706] [2707]
4. Van Gogh expected a response from Russell to the batch of drawings he sent him and to his request that he buy a work from Gauguin. See letter 652, n. 3.