My dear Theo,
I wanted to add to my letter of the day before yesterday1 that I had a letter from Rappard yesterday, and our quarrel is wholly made up, that he sent me a croquis of a large painting of a brickworks that he’s working on.2 This looks very original — if one wanted to find other paintings in the same spirit, it would be Meunier, say, whose mine-workers you saw in Antwerp.3 He’s rented a small house outside Utrecht, just as a studio (and arranged for light from above) near the brickworks,4 and since he’s also going back to Terschelling he’s deep in nature again, and to my mind that’s better than working in town.
I wanted to tell you, though, that I hope that the quarrel that we have will end like this, too, and that it will be settled.
1v:2 No more than I can5 accept his criticism, can I fully resign myself to the present situation in which my work is held up so badly by my financial difficulties. I don’t ask you to put this right alone, but I simply want us to do our best together (and not just I alone either) to make headway. It’s an effort for you, too, and not easy; I know that, and as such I appreciate it very much, but making an effort for a goal is no misfortune, and having to fight is the precondition for every honest victory.
The expenses of painting can’t always be avoided, and not incurring them is sometimes not the best policy, because nothing decent could come of it if one hesitated to pay for models or essential painting materials. And since it’s getting harder for me rather than better, it has eventually got to such a pitch that I definitely have to complain.
And I say once more, let’s keep my little painting business in order, because sooner or later we might be in sore need of it.
When there’s a storm in the air, one has to keep the boats in good shape. The man I now have in The Hague is Leurs, who doesn’t live in Praktizijnshoek any more but in Molenstraat.6
He’s asking me to send him more than one painting in order to have more than one chance, and is offering me his two windows.7
And since he’s very hard pressed for money himself, he won’t shrink from making an effort. I’m sending him a couple of cottages,8 the old tower9 and smaller ones of figures.10 And while he shows those, I’ll make a few new ones to keep him going.
I’ve also got a chance of persuading a second in The Hague.11
But for me it comes down to being able to go on working.
I’ve made another small painting of the wheat harvest since you left, the same size as the women pulling turnips in the snow:12
1r:4 a reaper, a woman binding sheaves, sheaves, and the windmill, like the drawings you saw.13 An effect in the evening after sunset.
Also more studies of interiors.14
Once again I suggest that you just talk it over with Portier and Serret, say that I’m in quite a fix, encourage them to do what they can, that for my part I’ll see about sending them new things.
And let’s see about getting that crate off.15 I’ve also painted 3 more studies of the women among the potatoes, the first of which you’ve already seen.16
Rappard had spoken to Wenckebach, and in his letter there was no longer any trace of the tone he’d started to take. And although he’s going to Terschelling first, he writes that he wants to come and make more studies here. Regards, and wishing you good fortune.