Paris 22 Jan. 1890

My dear Vincent,
I’m very glad to know that you’re better and that the journey to Arles took place without bad consequences.1 I have various things to tell you, which will probably please you. First Lauzet came back to see your new canvases2 and his exclamation  1v:2 after seeing a few canvases was ‘This really is Provence’. He, who’s from those parts, knows the area and detests the sugary things the Montenards and others bring back from there. Moreover you’re going to be able to chat to the man himself, for last Saturday he left for Marseille for a fortnight, and on his way back he’ll do what he can to call in on you. If you see him, please tell him that I have another subscription to his Monticelli work, Artist’s proofs,3 that will please him. The other evening he was at our home again, and then we  1v:3 looked together at Amand-Durand’s work on the etchings by A. Dürer.4 You’ll see what an interesting fellow he is and how well-versed he is in modern literature. It appears that the exhibition of Les Vingt in Brussels is open; I read in a newspaper that the canvases which excite the greatest curiosity are the open-air studies by Cézanne, Sisley’s landscapes, Van Gogh’s symphonies and the works of Renoir.5 A new exhibition of the Impressionists is being prepared here for March, in the Ville de Paris pavilion.6 Everyone will be able to send along as many canvases as they want. Guillaumin is going to exhibit there too. Think whether you want to exhibit too, and which canvases. The exhibition of Les Vingt  1r:4 will be over by then. I think that if we can wait patiently until success comes, you will surely see it. One must make oneself known without wanting to impose oneself: this will come of its own accord through your fine works. As regards what you write about the future, try and see if a partnership couldn’t be entered into with Lauzet. You could, for example, look for a studio for the two of you, and you could come and have dinner and sleep with us. As regards the furniture, I fear that the transportation will cost at least what it’s worth, and I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be better to sell it in Arles.7 I’m finding out about the establishments in Holland which might be suitable, but I’ve already been told that they’re so full that it’s  2r:5 difficult to be admitted. There’s Geel in Belgium,8 but I don’t know precisely what one must do to have oneself admitted. In any event I hope that you’ll come to us for a while to see our friends again and to see our little one. Jo is fortunately very well, we’re approaching the end now, for we hope that she’ll be delivered at the beginning of February. Wil is much better and looks extremely well. I would very much like her to find a way of getting married, but to whom? Isaäcson has left, and since he has a wife with a child in Amsterdam9 I don’t think that he’d be the man. He was to leave for the Transvaal but is still  2v:6 in Amsterdam.10 Next, what I consider a very bad side to him, he doesn’t do a damned thing. To hear him talk you’d say he works a lot, but if he shows something it’s quite inane. As regards painting, he has very little talent and I very much believe that he doesn’t have enough willpower to set himself seriously to work. Do you know that when I saw your olive trees again, I found them more and more beautiful, the one with the sunset is especially superb.11 How you have worked since last year, it’s prodigious. I’m curious to see the other Millets.12 A collection of facsimiles of original Rembrandt drawings has just been published in London. It’s superb, Seymour Haden is in charge of supervising the printing.13 Unfortunately they sell at a really high price, 600 francs for the collection of 400 prints.
The Rev. Salles came to see us last Sunday, but unfortunately we’d gone out. I had very much wanted to see him at our home.14 I say ‘à bientôt’, look after yourself, and be of good heart.

Ever yours,


Br. 1990: 844 | CL: T25
From: Theo van Gogh
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, Wednesday, 22 January 1890

1. For this trip to Arles, see letter 841, n. 1. The letter in which Vincent told Theo of this trip is not known. Theo seems relieved to hear that it went well, because Vincent had suffered his first attack in Saint-Rémy (mid-July 1889) shortly after a visit to Arles. Dr Peyron assumed that the attack had been brought on by the trip (see letter 807). In November 1889 Van Gogh had again gone to Arles for two days (letter 820), but had not suffered an attack following that trip.
2. The new canvases are the paintings in the last consignment (letter 834).
4. Oeuvre de Albert Dürer, reproduit et publié par Amand-Durand. [Paris 1878]. This luxury edition contains, in addition to 108 etchings by Dürer, a short introduction and a description of the works by Georges Duplessis, curator of the Bibliothèque Nationale. It was published jointly by Goupil & Cie and the Gazette des Beaux-Arts.
Jo wrote to her mother about Lauzet’s visits: ‘Vincent is also better and has sent such beautiful paintings – magnificent – Dries came to look at them briefly Sunday morning. At the same time we had a young artist – a real spindleshanks – someone from the South, Marseille I believe – whom Theo likes a lot – he’s making lithographs after two of our paintings and is going to publish a book and an album – I thought him rather nice, in any case very modest – not like Bernard, whom Mien met once. He’s coming again Wednesday evening, when Theo will be holding a presentation of etchings after A. Dürer’ (FR b4300, 14 January 1890).
5. Theo is referring to ‘Petite chronique’ in L’Art Moderne. Revue Critique des Arts et de la Littérature 10 (5 January 1890) no. 1, p. 7: ‘In particular, we might mention among the canvases destined to excite artistic curiosity, Paul Cézanne’s engaging open-air studies, Vincent van Gogh’s vivid symphonies, Sisley’s landscapes, Renoir’s new compositions and the entries of the Neo-Impressionist group, whose technique is becoming ever more sure.’ (On cite notamment, parmi les toiles appelées à exciter la curiosité artistique, les attachantes études de plein air de Paul Cézanne, les symphonies éclatantes de Vincent van Gogh, les paysages de Sisley, le compositions nouvelles de Renoir et l’envoi du groupe néo-impressioniste, dont la technique s'affirme de plus en plus.)
For the paintings Van Gogh sent to the exhibition of Les Vingt, see letter 820. Cézanne exhibited three paintings, Sisley six and Renoir five. See Delevoy 1981, pp. 201, 210, 213.
6. The sixth exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants was held in Paris from 20 March to 27 April 1890. Van Gogh had participated in the exhibitions of 1888 and 1889; see letter 582, nn. 8 and 9, and letter 732, n. 6. Ten of his paintings were displayed at the 1890 exhibition; see letter 854, n. 7.
7. In letter 839 Van Gogh had suggested sending his furniture from the Yellow House, which was in storage at Ginoux’s Café de la Gare, to Gauguin and De Haan in Brittany.
8. In 1880 Mr van Gogh had wanted to have Vincent committed to a lunatic asylum in Geel. See letter 185, n. 3.
a. Read: ‘nous arrivons au terme’.
9. This wording suggests that Isaäcson had a child from an extra-marital relationship, but no proof of this has been found. In 1904 he married in Amsterdam.
10. Regarding Isaäcson’s plans to go to the Transvaal, see letter 811, n. 2.
11. Theo is referring to the paintings of olive groves from the last consignment: Women picking olives (F 655 / JH 1869 [2879]), Olive grove (F 707 / JH 1857 [2871]), Olive trees (F 708 / JH 1855 [2869]) and Olive grove (F 586 / JH 1854 [2868]). The last painting is the one with a sunset.
[2879] [2871] [2869] [2868]
12. In letter 839 Van Gogh had written about his painted copies of prints after Millet’s The four times of the day [1679] [1680] [1681] [1682] and The labours of the field [1887], and about his intention to make copies of Winter: The plain of Chailly [1892] and The first steps [1883].
[1679] [1887] [1892] [1883]
13. The publication in question is F. Lippmann, with the assistance of W. Bode, Sidney Colvin, F. Seymour Haden and J.P. Heseltine, Original drawings by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn reproduced in phototype. Four series edited by C. Hofstede de Groot. London, Paris and The Hague 1889-1911.
14. Salles had left his calling card with a short message for Theo, saying that he was sorry to have missed him (FR b3189).