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778 Joseph Ginoux to Vincent van Gogh. Arles, Friday, 31 May 1889.

No. 778 (Brieven 1990 -, Complete Letters -)
From: Joseph Ginoux
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Arles, Friday, 31 May 1889

Source status
Carbon copy of typed transcription (archives of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation). Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b6616 V/1996

Original: unknown

Letter headed: ‘Arles, le 31 Mai 1889’.

This letter is known only as a carbon copy of a typed transcription; it is kept in the archives of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation. The location of the original manuscript is not known, nor are the circumstances in which the copy was made.
Jansen 1998

original text
Café de la gare
Joseph Ginoux
Arles s/Rhone.

Arles, le 31 Mai 1889.

Cher Monsieur Vincent,
Nous avons été très heureux d’apprendre que vous vous portiez bien et que l’air de St. Remy vous était favorable.
Nous comprenons que vous vous trouviez bien et que dans les environs de votre nouvelle residence qui n’est que provisoire, vous trouveriez des distractions et des sujets pour votre art.
J’ai fait faire un joli cadre comme nous en étions convenu, en noyer et irréprochable.1 Je l’ai remis à M. L’économe.2
J’ai donné de vos nouvelles à tous ceux qui vous connaissent et tout le monde a été enchanté, d’apprendre que votre santé était bonne et nous espérons que sous peu nous aurons le plaisir de nous voir et en attendant je vous prie d’agréer, bien cher Monsieur, de moi et de Madame Ginoux, l’assurance de nos meilleurs sentiments.

Jh. Ginoux.

Arles, 31 May 1889.

Dear Mr Vincent,
We were very pleased to learn that you are doing well and that the air of St-Rémy has done you good.
We understand that you are feeling well, and that the surroundings of your new residence, which is only temporary, will distract you and provide subjects for your art.
I have had a fine frame made as we had agreed, in walnut and impeccable.1 I delivered it to the bursar.2
I have told everyone who knows you how you are, and everyone was glad to learn that you are in good health, and we hope to have the pleasure of seeing you soon, in anticipation of which Mrs Ginoux and I send you our best regards.

Joseph Ginoux.
1. Because Ginoux says that he has delivered the frame to the hospital bursar, it is not likely that this frame was intended for one of the paintings still in Arles, since these were being stored at Ginoux’s (cf. letter 760). It is more reasonable to assume that the frame was made for a work that Van Gogh had given to his doctor, Félix Rey. Rey, at any rate, is the only hospital employee known to have received work from Van Gogh. He owned his portrait, Félix Rey (F 500 / JH 1659 ); see letter 736. According to Rey, he was also given the ‘Spitalgarten’ (hospital garden) (presumably The courtyard of the hospital in Arles (F 519 / JH 1687 ) and the ‘Krankenstube mit dem Selbstbildnis des Malers’ (patients’ sitting room with a self-portrait of the painter) (this probably refers to Ward in the hospital (F 646 / JH 1686 ), though this painting was never in his possession). See Max Braumann, ‘Beim Freunden Van Goghs in Arles: Reiserinnerungen’, Kunst und Künstler 26 (1928), p. 452. It was previously assumed that the frame was intended for Avenue of chestnut trees in blossom (F 517 / JH 1689 ), but that was stored at Ginoux’s and subsequently rolled up and sent to Theo; see letter 789 and cf. Jansen 1998, p. 65.
2. The hospital bursar was Marius Huard (L’indicateur marseillais 1889).