Holbaekgaard pr1 Ørsted.
25 Jan. 1889.
My dear Van Gogh!
I received your kind letter in Holland and, now that my journey is over, I thank you very much for your friendship and for having thought of me.
The stay in your brother’s place has done me good, and I would be very happy if I’ve been able to contribute to lessening that emptiness around him that one so easily experiences in Paris.2
In your country I made two copies after Rembrandt: ‘the Suzanne’ in The Hague and 1v:2 later ‘the Jewish wedding’ in Amsterdam.3 It’s the first time I’ve made copies, and I won’t do so again. It doesn’t say anything to me, if it wasn’t to have a memory of these magnificent masterpieces.
There are some talented painters among your compatriots, and the works of Mauve, Israëls and Breitner interested me very much, only it seems to me that they don’t make sufficient effort to see with their own eyes.
As for the Scandinavian painters, I found them the same as before my departure. Among the young ones there are many who want to produce something original and
1v:3 who are close to the Impressionists, but they’ve elected a reactionary and stupid jury which brings all progress to a halt.4
I think that an Impressionist exhibition would do some good in Copenhagen by ridding us of certain conventions. We’ve already seen Claude Monet and Besnard5 – may others come!
At the moment the consignment for the Paris exhibition is being prepared – it’s said to be very good.6
I would be happy to know if you are still staying in Arles, if everything is going well down there etc., but you’ve probably had enough of it, and this letter will find you in Paris.
As for me, I must stay here this summer at least. If it’s possible next winter I’ll go to Paris, and I hope to see you again then.
How is your brother’s health? Please say hello to him from me. I hope to send him something soon.7 Adieu – good health and good luck. I shake your hand.