From: Vincent van Gogh
To: John Peter Russell
Date: Arles, on or about Sunday, 17 June 1888.
New York, Guggenheim Museum. Thannhauser Collection. Inv. no. 78.2514T19.
The letter is the outcome of the intention expressed in letter 625, dated around 15 and 16 June: ‘I’ll write a word to Russell’ (l. 156). Vincent has meanwhile embarked on a new subject – the sower – which he did not mention in the letter to Theo; this indicates that some time has passed. The letter must have been written before the heavy showers that started on 20 June, because Van Gogh says he worked on The Trinquetaille bridge (
F 426 / JH 1468) that same afternoon (l. 17). Letter 628, in which the sower has progressed and Van Gogh mentions a new wheatfield, must also predate the change in the weather. We have therefore dated the present letter on or about Sunday, 17 June 1888. Cf. exhib. cat. New York 1984, pp. 70, 105.
The text printed after the signature in De brieven 1990 is on the back of the enclosed sketch Head of a girl(
F 1507a / JH 1466). It is a fragment of the earlier text of the letter, which was abandoned because Van Gogh completely rewrote it. See RM15.
The letter was written in English.
Gauguin’s illness (581)
Theo’s Monet exhibition (625)
The proposed exchange with Russell (589)
Visit to Saintes-Maries (617)
The plan to go back to Saintes-Maries (621)
- Sower with setting sun (
F - / JH 1471), letter sketch
- Head of a girl (
F 1507a / JH 1466), enclosed sketch