Paris 29 March ’90

Dear Vincent,
Among all the letters from brothers and sisters, mine wishing you the best may not be missing tomorrow,1 and I do it at the same time on behalf of your godchild, who can’t do it very well himself yet. He always looks with very great interest at Uncle Vincent’s paintings, though — in particular the tree in blossom that hangs over our bed2 really fascinates him — and the Rembrandt3 too, although I can’t swear that it isn’t the gold frame that attracts him. He’s thriving, fortunately — we’re longing  1v:2 to show him to you. But there’s still a whole art to being father and mother — perhaps it’s because I’ve had to learn and experience so many things in this one year — because I’ve never heard other people talk about it like this — they had a child and then everything was all right and happened of its own accord — but with me it’s not like that. What surprises me most is that such a tiny baby already has its own personality, in the face of which you’re utterly powerless. He can sometimes look at me as if he wants to say: what are you actually doing to me — I  1v:3 know much more about things than you do — they’re the eyes of a grown-up, and then with a great deal of expression — could he have the makings of a philosopher?
He doesn’t leave his mother much free time at all, but I did escape briefly for the opening of the Independents to see your paintings hanging — there was a bench just in front, and while Theo talked to all sorts of people I spent a quarter of an hour enjoying the wonderful coolness and freshness of the undergrowth4 — it’s as if I know that little spot and have often been there — I love it so much.
It’s like summer here — indescribably hot  1r:4 and I think with dread of the hot days still to come — it sounds a bit like sacrilege — with that first delicate tender green on the trees now, but after all I like the winter much better.
I must make haste to end my letter because Theo’s waiting for it. With best wishes

Your loving


Br. 1990: 860 | CL: T30
From: Jo van Gogh-Bonger
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, Saturday, 29 March 1890

1. Van Gogh turned thirty-seven on 30 March.
2. This was probably Small pear tree in blossom (F 405 / JH 1394 [2590]); see letter 721, n. 3.
3. It is not known which print by or after Rembrandt is referred to here. Several have been preserved in the estate.
4. Trees with ivy in the garden of the asylum (F 609 / JH 1693 [2789]).