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758 To Theo van Gogh. Arles, between about Sunday, 14 and about Wednesday, 17 April 1889.

metadata
No. 758 (Brieven 1990 762, Complete Letters 584)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Arles, between about Sunday, 14 and about Wednesday, 17 April 1889

Source status
Original manuscript

Location
Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b631 V/1962

Date
Vincent tells Theo about Signac’s proposal to come and paint in Cassis (ll. 43-44). This means that he must have received Signac’s letter of 12 April (letter 757). Thus the present letter was written on 13 April at the earliest. Furthermore, he hopes that the wedding has gone according to Theo’s liking (ll. 36-37). The marriage was solemnized on 18 April, but its date does not provide a foothold for the dating of this letter, because Vincent did not know exactly which day Theo was to be married (see letter 756, l. 9). It does look as though the letter was sent to Amsterdam, because he had been expecting to hear from his brother ‘these last few days’ (l. 4); he also assumes that the following letter, of 21 April, will arrive when Theo is back in Paris (letter 760, l. 2).
Moreover, the letter must date from before 19 April, because Van Gogh still intends to rent an apartment (ll. 27 ff.), whereas this plan had been abandoned by 19 April, as Salles informed Theo in a letter (see letter 756 n. 6).
It is not possible to give a more precise dating; on the basis of the information outlined above, we have dated the letter to between about Sunday, 14 and about Wednesday, 17 April 1889.

Ongoing topic
Theo’s engagement and marriage to Jo Bonger (728)

original text
 1r:1
Mon cher Theo,
je suis plus ou moins surpris de ce que tu ne m’aies pas une fois écrit de ces jours ci. Cependant ainsi que la fois précedente que tu allais en Hollande c’est surtout le hasard.–1
Maintenant j’espère que toutes ces chôses se soient bien passées pour toi.
En attendant j’ai été obligé de demander à Tasset 10 mètres toile et quelques tubes.2
Egalement me faudrait-il encore

12  blanc de zinc  grands  tubes
1 Emeraude
,,
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2 Cobalt
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2 Outremer
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,,
1 Vermillon
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,,
4 Vert Véronèse
,,
,,
3 Chrome I
,,
,,
1       ,,        II
,,
,,
2 Laque géranium tubes moyens

J’ai 6 études du printemps dont deux grands vergers.3 Cela presse beaucoup parceque ces effets sont si passagers.
 1v:2
Ecris moi donc par retour.– J’ai pris apartement de 2 petites pieces à 6 (ou 8 francs par mois l’eau comprise) qui sont à M. Rey.4 C’est certes pas cher mais beaucoup moins bien que l’autre atelier.–
Mais pour pouvoir déménager et te faire un envoi de toiles il me faudrait payer l’autre propriétaire.5 Et c’est pourquoi j’ai été plus ou moins stupéfait que tu ne m’avais rien envoyé.– Mais enfin.–
Espérant encore une fois que toutes ces chôses du mariage se soient passées à votre gré, en vous souhaitant de coeur bien du bonheur à toi & à ta femme

t. à v.
Vincent

Signac m’a demandé de le rejoindre à Cassis6 mais vu que nous ayons assez de frais sans cela, quoi que je fasse ou que tu fasses c’est pas dans les moyens.

translation
 1r:1
My dear Theo,
I’m rather surprised that you haven’t written to me once these last few days. However, like the previous time when you went to Holland, it’s above all sheer chance.1
Now I hope that all these things have gone well for you.
In the meantime I’ve been obliged to ask Tasset for 10 metres of canvas and a few tubes.2
Also I still need

12  zinc white  large  tubes
1 Emerald
,,
,,
2 Cobalt
,,
,,
2 Ultramarine
,,
,,
1 Vermilion
,,
,,
4 Veronese Green
,,
,,
3 Chrome I
,,
,,
1       ,,        II
,,
,,
2 Geranium lake medium tubes

I have 6 spring studies, including two large orchards.3 It’s very urgent, because these effects are so fleeting.  1v:2
So write to me by return. I’ve taken an apartment of 2 small rooms at 6 (or 8 francs a month, water included) which belong to Mr Rey.4 It’s certainly not expensive, but not nearly as nice as the other studio.
But to be able to move home and send you a consignment of canvases I would have to pay the other landlord.5 And that’s why I was more or less stunned that you hadn’t sent me anything. But anyway.
Hoping again that all those marriage matters went off to your liking, wishing you and your wife lots of happiness with all my heart

Ever yours,
Vincent

Signac has asked me to join him in Cassis,6 but seeing as we have enough expenses without that, whatever I do or you do it isn’t within our means.
notes
1. During Theo’s previous stay in the Netherlands (5–13 January 1889, for the official announcement of the engagement), something had gone wrong with Vincent’s allowance; see letter 741.
2. Van Gogh had last mentioned receiving paint and canvas from Tasset in November 1888 (letter 719).
3. Van Gogh named two of these studies in his letter to Signac (letter 756): La Crau with peach trees in blossom (F 514 / JH 1681 ) and Orchard in blossom with a view of Arles (F 515 / JH 1683 ). The two large orchards are the no. 30 canvases Orchard in blossom with a view of Arles (F 516 / JH 1685 ) and Orchard (F 511 / JH 1386 ). Among these spring studies were also Road with pollard willows (F 520 / JH 1690 ) and Field with flowers under a stormy sky (F 575 / JH 1422 ). Cf. also Feilchenfeldt 2005, pp. 294-295 (he adds Orchard (F 552 / JH 1381 ), but we date that painting to April 1888). Hulsker dates F 511 to April 1888; see letter 607, n. 2.
4. Regarding this apartment, see letter 756, n. 6.
5. The owner of the Yellow House was Verdier; Van Gogh paid his rent to Verdier’s agent, Bernard Soulé, who was in charge of the building. See letter 602, n. 19.
6. Signac had proposed this in letter 757.