My dear Theo,
Many happy returns of the day.1
It really was important news in your last letter — and I think you’ll be glad that the situation has at least become clearer.2
Am really looking forward to your next letter.
As regards the work, I’m doing a fairly large painting of a weaver — the loom straight on from the front — the little figure a dark little silhouette against the white wall.3 And at the same time also the one I started in the winter, a loom on which a piece of red cloth is being woven — there the loom is seen from the side.4 I’ve also started on two others of effects on the heath.5
And a thing with Pollard birches.6
I’ll have a lot more hard graft on those looms — but in reality the things are such almighty beautiful affairs — all that old oak against a greyish wall — that I certainly believe it’s right that they should be painted. We must make sure that we get them so that the colour and tone match with other Dutch paintings, though. I hope to start on two more of weavers soon, where the figure will appear very differently, that’s to say where the weaver isn’t sitting behind it but is arranging the threads for the cloth.7 I’ve seen them weaving by lamplight in the evening, which creates very Rembrandtesque effects. Nowadays they have a sort of hanging lamp — but I’ve
1v:3 just got a little lamp from a weaver
like the one in The evening by Millet,8 for instance. This is what they used to work by.
I recently also saw coloured pieces woven in the evening — where I’ll take you sometime should you come here. When I saw it, they were also just arranging the threads, so dark, bowed figures against the light, which stood out against the colour of the piece. Great shadows cast on the white walls by the laths and beams of the loom.
Regards — do write soon if you can.