1. This is letter 755.
2. Theo had last written shortly before his departure for the Netherlands on 30 March; Vincent thanks him for his letter in letter 754.
a. A combination of ‘cuire à petit feu’ (cook over a low flame) and ‘brûler à petit feu’ (burn slowly).
3. Signac had visited Van Gogh in Arles on 23 and 24 March; see letter 752.
4. The letter sketch La Crau with peach trees in blossom (F - / JH 1682) was made after the painting of the same name (F 514 / JH 1681 [2779]).
5. The letter sketch Orchard in blossom with a view of Arles (F - / JH 1684) was made after the painting of the same name (F 515 / JH 1683 [2780]). It had rained from 5 to 9 April (Météo-France).
6. In letter 758 Van Gogh reports that this small apartment was owned by Dr Rey. As the house physician, Rey lived at the hospital, so it is possible that he had put his apartment, or part of it, at Van Gogh’s disposal. Rey’s address was Rampe du Pont, near the Pont de Trinquetaille (ACA; L’indicateur marseillais 1889).
In the end Van Gogh decided against taking this apartment, as Salles informed Theo on Friday, 19 April 1889: ‘he was coming to an arrangement with a landlord when all of a sudden he confessed to me that for the time being he did not feel he had the courage to take possession of himself again and that it would be infinitely better for him, that it would be more sensible for him to go and spend two or three months in an asylum’ (il était sur le point de conclure avec un propriétaire quand tout à coup il m’a fait l’aveu qu’il ne se sentait pas pour le moment le courage de rentrer en possession de lui-même et qu’il lui conviendrait infiniment mieux, qu’il serait plus sage pour lui d’aller passer deux ou trois mois dans une maison de santé) (FR b1050).