Paris 10 May 1890

My dear Vincent,
Thanks very much for your two letters;1 I’m very happy that the improvement continues, and it would give me great pleasure if you could make the journey, without danger. Does it also seem to you that it’s such a long time since we saw each other? Since you find it such an annoyance to travel with someone from the asylum, for heaven’s sake,  1v:2 you must risk it, although I’m not like you and wouldn’t do it, to avoid, should the crisis seize hold of you again, all the miseries that would emerge should you, at an unknown station, have to deal with people you don’t know and who would treat you who knows how. Now if you leave, send me a telegram without fail so that I know what time you’ll be arriving at the Gare de Lyon so that I can come and fetch you. Of course you must come to our place, if you don’t mind making do with the little bedroom where we’ve put up Wil and several others. I wrote to Dr Gachet yesterday  1v:3 to ask him when he’s coming to Paris, for he gives consultations then. And at the same time I asked him to find out about lodgings for you.2
Yes, the change of region might do you good, but towards winter it’s perhaps better that you should be in a warmer climate. But we’ll have time to talk about all that. I’ve written to Dr Peyron to tell him that if there isn’t a definite danger, he should do as you wish and let you go. As he’s been kind to you, try not to hurt him. I had ordered the colours you asked for from Tanguy and Tasset, telling myself that anyway it wouldn’t be lost. If the colours hadn’t  1r:4 yet arrived, leave orders for them to be sent on. Will you at last be able to find a place where you can have a little tranquillity without having people and things around you that annoy you? I hope so with all my heart, and it’s possible that in any event this might be an improvement, but people are more or less the same everywhere, and when artistic things preoccupy you, you find very few people who understand you. It’s Latin to them, and they regard it only as a pastime that isn’t to be taken seriously.
I haven’t yet been to the Salon,3 which is apparently very mediocre, so they say, but there’s an exhibition of Japanese drawings and prints which you’ll see when you come, which is superb.4 I’d like you to be here already, don’t forget to telegraph me. Warm regards from Jo and the little one, they’re both well.
Good handshake, and au revoir.


I’m enclosing 150 francs for the journey, telegraph me if by chance it isn’t enough.


Br. 1990: 870 | CL: T34
From: Theo van Gogh
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, Saturday, 10 May 1890

1. These were letters 866 and 868.
2. In his letter to Dr Gachet of 9 May, Theo referred to their meeting and informed him about Vincent. He said he hoped that Gachet would take his brother under his wing, and asked his opinion about having someone accompany Vincent during his railway journey. ‘He’s very well at the moment and writes me very sensible letters. He has a great wish to come to Paris for a few days and then to go and work in the country ... Do you think it would be prudent to have someone accompany him during the journey? He himself feels revulsion at having to be supervised and begs me to let him make the journey alone. I should very much like to have your opinion on the matter’ (Il est très bien en ce moment & m’écrit des lettres très raisonnables. Il a un grand désir de venir à Paris pour quelques jours & ensuite pour aller travailler à la campagne ... Croyez vous qu’il serait prudant de le faire accompagner par quelcun pendant le voyage. Lui même sent une répulsion à devoir être gardé & me supplie de lui laisser faire le voyage seul. J’aimerais beaucoup avoir vôtre avis la dessus) (FR b2014).
3. The Salon had opened on 1 May (see exhib. cat. Paris 1890-1).
4. This exhibition, held at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and organized by Siegfried Bing, had 725 works on display. See Exposition de la gravure Japonaise à L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts à Paris du 25 avril au 22 mai. Catalogue. Paris 1890 and Correspondance Pissarro 1980-1991, vol. 2, p. 352 (n. 2). Theo saw the exhibition on 27 April (Account book 2002, p. 73).