From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Paul Gauguin
Date: Arles, Wednesday, 17 October 1888
New York, Thaw Collection, The Morgan Library & Museum
The letter was written after Van Gogh had heard from Gauguin that he was coming to Arles on 20 October. We have assumed that Van Gogh replied immediately otherwise there would not have been time for the letter to reach Gauguin before he set out. Since it is unlikely that Vincent had received Gauguin’s letter on 16 October – if he had, he would have told Theo about it when he wrote to him that evening (letter 705) – we have dated this letter Wednesday, 17 October 1888. Letter 707 was written the same day; it is not possible to tell which of the two was written first.
This letter was included in Lettres à Bernard as number 22, and subsequent editions consequently retained this misleading B number. Bernard explained his reason for including it: ‘I did not believe I should omit this interesting letter, decorated with a drawing’ (Je n’ai pas cru devoir omettre cette intéressante missive orné d’un dessin) (Lettres à Bernard 1911, p. 151). Merlhès has suggested that the letter came into Bernard’s possession because it arrived after Gauguin had left Pont-Aven (Merlhès 1989, p. 124). Another possibility is that Gauguin gave it to Bernard.
Gauguin coming to Arles (602)
Gauguin’s illness (581)
Decoration of the Yellow House (665)
- The bedroom (
F - / JH 1610), letter sketch