Paris 2 June 1890

My dear Vincent,
Last week I was very busy with that Raffaëlli exhibition, we stayed open until 10 o’clock in the evening.1 Without that I would already have replied to your last letter. I hope that the area continues to please you and that your boarding-house  1r:2 is good. At mère Siron’s in Barbizon2 people paid 5 francs, or 4 francs 50 if they stayed there a long time, and it was excellent. When I was in Auvers I dined with my friend Martin3 in an inn that was down below. There was the Oise there, I think, next some fields, the main road, and this inn was on this road. One ate extremely well there in those days, and not expensively.4 I must come one time, and I’m very receptive to your proposal that I should come with Jo and the little one, for I feel quite emptied, and the countryside would do me good. But we must  1v:3 also see Mother and Jo’s parents. If I can have around 3 weeks’ holiday, we’d first go to you and then to Holland.5 That would be at the beginning of August, probably. It would do us all a lot of good to spend a little time in the country. What you write about Doctor Gachet interests me a great deal, I hope that you’ll become good friends with him. I’d very much like to have a friend who was a doctor, for at every turn one would like to know, especially for the little one, where illnesses come from. Fortunately he’s  1v:4 quite well, but a week ago we’d gone to St-Cloud,6 and there we were caught unawares by torrential rain the like of which I’ve never seen. The café where we took refuge was flooded, there was a good foot of water. That and the jostling in the evening to get the train made us worried, but all he had was a heavy cold and Jo had nothing, although her milk would probably no longer have been good. That can happen with wet feet. A parcel arrived here, returned from St-Rémy, and I’m sending it to you. Dr Peyron told me about it when asking for news of you.7 We’ll be happy to have good news from you. If you were here the little one would smile nicely at you. How detached from all other preoccupations is the smile of a child. Good handshake, and warm regards from Jo and the little one.



Br. 1990: 880 | CL: T35
From: Theo van Gogh
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, Monday, 2 June 1890

1. An exhibition of 61 works by Jean-François Raffaëlli was held between 27 May and 21 June at Boussod, Valadon & Cie. See exhib. cat. Paris 1890-3.
a. Read: ‘continue à te plaire’.
2. This refers to the café-restaurant run since 1867 by Emmanuel Siron in Barbizon; most of their guests were painters. Siron called it the ‘Hôtel de l’exposition’, because there were always paintings on display. The establishment is now the Hôtellerie du Bas-Bréau, 22 Grande rue. ‘Mère Siron’ must refer to Emmanuel’s wife. See L’Ecole de Barbizon. Peindre en plein air avant l’impressionnisme. Vincent Pomarède and Gérard de Wallens. Exhib. cat. Lyon (Musée des Beaux-Arts), 2002. Paris 2002, p. 112.
3. Probably the art dealer Pierre Firmin Martin, who was an acquaintance of Theo (cf. letters 592 and 718).
4. The ‘grande route’ was rue de Pontoise in Auvers. The inn Theo talks about could be either Auberge Saint-Aubin in rue de Pontoise (see letter 873, n. 1) or Café-Auberge Chez Colignon in rue Rémy, which leads to rue de Pontoise.
b. Read: ‘je suis bien tenté par’.
5. Theo wrote to Willemien about this plan that same day, and also told her about seeing Vincent upon his return from Saint-Rémy: ‘Oh Wil, you would be as happy as we were to see Vincent back like he is. He has never looked as healthy as he does now, and he also talks quite normally. Still, he feels that the attacks could come back, and is afraid of that. It seems that it takes him unawares and that nothing can be done about it, at least in St Remy, but rest’ (FR b931).
6. Saint-Cloud, about 9 km west of Paris. One of its attractions was its seventeenth-century park. The excursion took place on Whit Sunday, i.e. 25 May (see letter 880).
7. This letter from Peyron to Theo is not known.