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486 To Theo van Gogh, c/o Messrs Goupil, 19 boulevard Montmartre, Paris. Telegram, sent from Eindhoven, Friday, 27 March 1885.

metadata
No. 486 (Brieven 1990 491, Complete Letters -)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Eindhoven, Friday, 27 March 1885

Source status
Original telegram

Location
Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b2272 V/1962

Date
Date of postmark: Friday, 27 March 1885. Received: 6.00 hours.
Vincent sent Theo three telegrams altogether; they all arrived in Paris in the morning of 27 March 1885. The present telegram, sent to boulevard Montmartre, must have been sent first since it arrived at 6 a.m., whereas nos. 487 and 488 show the times 7.35 and 7.58 respectively. Vincent sent them to both of the Goupil & Cie establishments where Theo might be that day – to boulevard Montmartre (487) and rue Chaptal (488).
It is striking that this telegram does not say who has died. This is probably why Vincent sent the other telegrams to Theo’s workplaces – these two explicitly state that it was their father.

Additional
Telegram. Postmark: ‘CENTRAL PARIS / 27 MARS 85’.

original text
 1r:1
mort subite viens, vangogh1
 1v:1

translation
 1r:1
sudden death, come, van gogh.1
 1v:1
notes
1. Mr van Gogh died of a stroke in the evening of Thursday, 26 March. The only known eyewitness account of this was given by Willemien: ‘Pa went out in the morning healthy and in the evening he came home and as he came in the door he collapsed without giving any further sign of life. It was terrible. I shall never forget that night. It happened at half-past seven in the evening. Cor was in Helmond and didn’t get home until half-past one in the morning; oh, it was so dreadful. I hope that you will be preserved from ever experiencing something like that.’ This letter was sent to her friend Line Kruysse (FR b4636. Breda, 26 August 1886).
Theo set out for Nuenen the same day and arrived there on 28 March. Andries Bonger told his father H.C. Bonger about it: ‘Never have I taken a friend to the Gare du Nord in more melancholy circumstances than on Friday of last week. My friend Van Gogh had heard the news that morning that his father had suffered a sudden stroke and died. He had received a letter from him just the day before in which he said he was perfectly well. Van Gogh himself is not very strong; so you can understand the state he was in when he left.’ (FR b1811. Paris, 31 March 1885).