From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Cornelis Marinus van Gogh
Date: Nuenen, Thursday, 6 or Friday, 7 August 1885
Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b186 V/1962
In De brieven 1990 the letter is dated ‘1881-1883’, but this appears to be wrong. During Theo’s visit to Nuenen, he and Vincent had decided to take new initiatives to draw Vincent’s work to the attention of art dealers (cf. also letters 523 and 527). We think that having Theo show work to Uncle Cor (ll. 12-16) must be seen in this light. The letter must have been given to Theo to deliver, when he left on 7 August 1885 after a stay in Nuenen to travel to Amsterdam to stay with the Bonger family.
Vincent has not previously characterized the colours he uses as ‘cold’ or ‘warm’, something that suggests he was studying Félix Bracquemond’s Du dessin et de la couleur, which Theo must have given him (see letter 530, n. 5 and letter 531). This supports a dating to the summer of 1885, after Theo’s arrival.
Because we cannot say with certainty at what point (preceding Theo’s departure for Amsterdam) Vincent wrote the letter, we suggest a date of Thursday, 6 or Friday, 7 August 1885.