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851 To Joseph Ginoux. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, on or about Sunday, 2 February 1890.

No. 851 (Brieven 1990 852, Complete Letters 626b)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Joseph Ginoux
Date: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, on or about Sunday, 2 February 1890

Source status

Private collection

The letter could date at the earliest from 1 February, because that was the day Van Gogh received word of the birth of his nephew, whom he mentions in this letter. He expects Lauzet to pay him a visit ‘any day now’ (ll. 38-39); Lauzet had left on Saturday, 18 January to spend two weeks in Marseille, and was supposed to pay Van Gogh a visit on his return trip. Van Gogh voices his concern for Mme Ginoux, which is something he also mentioned to Theo in his letter of 1 February (letter 850), and tells Ginoux that he was not able to carry out his plan of visiting him ‘around now’. He had intended to visit the couple within the next fortnight (see n. 1) – which would have been around the weekend of 1 February. Assuming that he would not have waited a long time to inform them that he was unable to come, and that he also wanted to share Theo’s good news with them, we have dated the letter to about Sunday, 2 February 1890.

Ongoing topics
Third attack in Saint-Rémy (846)
Entry for the 1889 Indépendants exhibition (732)
Entry for the Les Vingt exhibition in Brussels (792)

original text
Mon cher Monsieur Ginoux,
certes je préfererais venir en personne vous demander comment va votre malade ainsi que j’avais espéré revenir vous revoir de ces jours ci.1 Mais ayant été indisposé moi-même cette dernière semaine je dois par lettre vous demander de ses nouvelles.
Ne manquez pas, je vous en prie, de me faire savoir comment elle va – car serais inquiet si je n’eusse pas de vos nouvelles par retour du courrier.
J’ai des bonnes intentions assez pour venir néamoins semaine prochaine pourtant.
J’ai eu des nouvelles de M. Paul encore l’autre jour2 et il se pourrait que j’aille bientôt le voir, surtout parceque j’ai grand désir aussi  1v:2 d’aller faire connaissance avec le petit de mon frère qui vient de naitre sain et sauf heureusement.3
Donc pour moi je suis bien content que cela marche bien, à plus forte raison parceque le travail ne va pas trop mal pas non plus ayant eu des articles sur mes tableaux à la fois en Belgique et à Paris où je les avais exposés4 et qu’on en dit beaucoup plus de bien que moi-même n’en désirais.–
De ces jours ci j’attends la visite d’un peintre de Marseille,5 cela est donc encore une raison pourquoi je ne sais pas au juste le jour où je pourrai venir vous voir.
Sans cela pour moi l’attaque que j’ai encore eue est tout  1v:3 à fait passée encore et je travaille comme d’habitude.
Enfin vous ne me ferez j’espère pas languir après votre réponse.
Bien des chôses à vous et à Madame Ginoux et tous mes voeux pour sa prompte guérison.
Poignée de main à vous deux et aux autres amis et croyez moi

bien à vous
Vincent v. Gogh

My dear Mr Ginoux,
Certainly I would prefer to come in person to ask you how your patient is, just as I had also hoped to come back to see you around now.1 But having been indisposed myself this last week, I must ask you for news of her by letter.
Please don’t fail to let me know how she is – for would be worried if I didn’t have news from you by return of post.
Nevertheless I have good intentions enough to come next week, however.
I had news of Mr Paul again the other day,2 and it’s possible I may soon go and see him, especially because I also have a great desire  1v:2 to go and make the acquaintance of my brother’s little one, who has fortunately just been born safe and sound.3
So for myself I’m really pleased that this is going well, all the more so because work isn’t going too badly either, having had articles on my paintings both in Belgium and in Paris where I exhibited them,4 and people are saying much more good things about them than I myself would wish.
I’m expecting a visit from a Marseille painter any day now,5 so this is another reason why I don’t know precisely which day I’ll be able to come and see you.
That notwithstanding, as for myself the attack I had again has  1v:3 completely passed again, and I’m working as usual.
Anyway, I hope you won’t leave me pining for your reply.
Kind regards to you and to Mrs Ginoux, and all my wishes for her speedy recovery.
Handshake to both of you and to our other friends, and believe me

Yours truly,
Vincent van Gogh
1. On 18 or 19 January, Van Gogh had visited Joseph Ginoux and his wife Marie, who was suffering from nervous attacks and menopausal complaints. In letter 842 he had promised to return within the fortnight, but a new attack had prevented him from carrying out this plan.
2. Shortly before this, Van Gogh had received a letter from Gauguin (letter 844).
3. Theo’s son, Vincent Willem, was born on 31 January.
4. Van Gogh is referring to Aurier’s article ‘Les isolés: Vincent van Gogh’, which had appeared in Mercure de France and in the Belgian journal L’Art Moderne (see letter 845, n. 2). Theo had also informed Vincent of an earlier article about the Brussels exhibition in L’Art Moderne; see letter 843, n. 5.
Félix Fénéon had written in La Vogue about Van Gogh’s works at the exhibition of the Indépendants in Paris; see letter 799, n. 13. There is no indication, however, that Van Gogh knew about this article.
5. This refers to Auguste Lauzet; see letter 843.