My dear friend Rappard,
Last Sunday I was at Van der Weele’s. Saw a painting by him there that I think is by far the most beautiful of his that I know. It was of several sand-carts by the side of a channel or canal. In the mist.1 It perhaps bore some resemblance to the work of Mauve, both in subject and in the approach and execution. Inasmuch as it was done in the same spirit but with enough personality to be absolutely original and singular. The dimensions were rather large. I write this to point out that Van der W. is one of the rising men, in my view. And I wish you knew him personally; now the woodcuts may provide an opportunity for getting acquainted, it seems to me. Either through you bringing him those prints sooner or later (I mean the Herkomer, and whatever else you may find), or through them becoming his with me as intermediary, I may name you as the donor and tell him that you’ve seen something of his work and would like to make his acquaintance, or something like that. In short, I just mean that if you’re put in touch with him one way or another I believe you’ll find in him someone with whom you’ll want to keep in touch and probably become real friends.
Today I sent you a roll of woodcuts. They’re the double-page engravings from The Graphic. I have more of them, but some are probably not suitable for rolling up, since they’re mounted and have had tears repaired and are less important. But these are the sheets I believe you certainly don’t have as yet, and all
1v:2 those that I would give to Van der W., provided you already had them.
And you can verify whether or not you already have them and if you do, return them.
You can sort the others out later, but I think it would be good to have a look at the most important woodcuts in this way, since if you come to visit we’ll need time for other things as well. Then at least that will be out of the way.
As soon as I have time I’ll go through the smaller ones too and send you what I think you may not have for further verification as to whether or not you do.
For now from the smaller ones I’m adding just 2 Lançons which, since they’re French, might get forgotten later when I’m sorting The Graphics but which will undoubtedly please you, at least if you don’t already have them. Isn’t Board School by Holl superb?2 and Ploughing by Small3 and Caxton printing?4
You doubtless have winter weather again in Utrecht.
Enclosed is a scratch out of the window.5 I always find it wonderfully cosy to sit by a fire in the dusk and to look through the window at a snow-covered landscape.
I’ve also found that natural chalk here in town. It’s an article that was practically unknown to me until now. Now, though, I find it isn’t that rare — and you probably know it and already have it. If not, I think it a singular medium in which to draw. Adieu, old chap, a handshake in thought. Write soon, and believe me