3 Jan. 1890

My dear Vincent,
I was pleasantly surprised by your letter,1 for after receiving a line from Mr Peyron2 I didn’t dare hope that it would be possible for you to write, and I won’t hide from you that it grieved me very much. It’s curious that this has taken hold of you again, precisely a year after the first attack, and it proves that you must remain on your guard. So if you know that it’s dangerous  1v:2 at times to have paints near you, why not set them aside for a while by making drawings?3 Like the other times, this crisis may be followed by another, although much less violent. I think that at such moments you’ll do better not to want to work with colour. In a while from now nothing will prevent you from starting again.
As regards the consignment for Brussels, there’s a misunderstanding. In reading my letter to you,4 good Doctor Peyron made a mistake. The paintings were ready in time and are leaving today. What I was asking you was if you wanted to add a few  1v:3 drawings to them. To return again to what I was saying to you, if you didn’t work with colour for a while, nothing will prevent you from doing drawings. Wil is with us since yesterday evening,5 she looks well and brings good news from home, your letter gave Mother great pleasure.6 I have no news of Gauguin. He’s fortunate to have De Haan with him, for it’s he who pays everything for his upkeep and his paint, but I don’t know if he’ll be able to continue forever. I hope that you’re already much better and that the illness won’t return. Warm regards from Jo and from Wil. Be of good heart, and look after yourself.

Ever yours,


Br. 1990: 837 | CL: T23
From: Theo van Gogh
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, Friday, 3 January 1890

1. This was letter 833.
2. This letter from Dr Peyron is not known.
3. This remark refers to the fact that Van Gogh had ingested paint during his attack. It was not the first time he had done this (see letter 794, n. 1).
a. Read: ‘malentendu’.
4. This was letter 830.
5. From 2 January to 9 February 1890, Willemien stayed with Theo and Jo in order to help out during the last weeks of Jo’s pregnancy and during her confinement.
6. This was letter 831.