1. Delacroix stayed with George Sand at her country estate at Nohant in June 1842, July 1843 and August 1846. Delacroix was inspired by the garden at Nohant, where he made various studies of flowers and trees. The flower studies were painted partly as preparation for five large paintings that he exhibited at the Salon in 1849. One of the studies, Two vases of flowers (Bremen, Kunsthalle), was included in the retrospective exhibition in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1885, which Theo had visited. See Johnson 1981-1989, vol. 3, p. 260, cat. no. 499, and Maurice Serullaz, Inventaire général des dessins. Ecole Française. Dessins d’Eugène Delacroix 1798-1863. Paris 1984, vol. 1, pp. 440-442.
2. During his first stay at Nohant in 1842, Delacroix painted The education of the Virgin for his hostess (Paris, Musée National Eugène Delacroix). Ill. 68 . According to reports, this painting was inspired by something he had seen on one of his walks: a peasant girl, seated on a tree trunk, receiving a lesson from her mother. In 1853 Delacroix made a smaller version of the painting, titled The education of the Virgin or Saint Anne (Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art). See Johnson 1981-1989, vol. 3, pp. 215-216, cat. no. 426; pp. 240-241, cat. no. 461.
3. Theo probably criticized the Volpini exhibition in similar terms in a now-lost letter to Gauguin, who was staying in Pont-Aven. Gauguin responded to it in his letter of about 1 July 1889: ‘Yes, there are a few rowdies but if I had been there, everything would have been done more simply’. (Oui il y a un peu de casseur d’assiettes mais si j’avais été là le tout aurait été fait plus simplement). He also explained why Lautrec had not been allowed to exhibit: ‘As far as Lautrec is concerned, I believe the truest reason is that Lautrec thinks of one thing only, that’s himself and not the others. So it’s probable that these gentlemen will have judged it preferable to do the same, i.e., to manage without him.’ (Quant à ce qui est de Lautrec je crois que la raison la plus vraie est que Lautrec ne considère qu’une chose c’est lui et non pas les autres. Alors il est probable que ces messieurs auront jugé preférable d’en faire autant c.a.d. de compter sans lui). In his previous letter to Theo of about 10 June 1889, Gauguin said he had organized the exhibition, but had handed things over to Schuffenecker and Bernard when he left. See Gauguin lettres 1983, pp. 92-107 (GAC 13B, GAC 14), and Merlhès 1995, pp. 26-28.
4. Theo must have seen The archangel Raphael (present whereabouts unknown; no longer attributed to Rembrandt) at one of the viewings of the Sellar Collection, which was sold in Paris at Galerie Georges Petit (8 rue de Seine) on 6 June 1889. The catalogue surmised that the panel, ‘full of vigour and of a sparkling palette’, was a study for Rembrandt’s painting The angel leaving Tobias.
The panel – also known as Study for an angel, c. 1655-1660 – was first attributed to Barent Fabritius and later to Aert de Gelder. See Adolf Rosenberg, Rembrandt. Des Meisters Gemälde in 565 Abbildungen, Stuttgart and Leipzig 1906, pp. 392, 406; and Adolf Rosenberg, Rembrandt. Des Meisters Gemälde in 643 Abbildungen. Stuttgart and Berlin 1908, pp. 543, 566.
An etching made after it – executed by Charles Courtry and published by A. Salmon and Ardail – was included in the Catalogue de tableaux anciens composant l’importante collection de M. Sellar de Londres. Paris 1889, p. 42, cat. no. 57. Letter 797 reveals that Theo sent one to Vincent; this etching is to be found in the estate (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum). Ill. 344 (t*731). Van Gogh made a painting after it: Angel (after ‘Rembrandt’) (F 624 / JH 1778).
The etching mentioned by Theo, in which the same angel figures, is Annunciation to the shepherds, 1634 (B44). (Amsterdam, Rembrandthuis). Cf. Charles Blanc, L’Oeuvre complet de Rembrandt. Paris 1859, vol. 1, pp. 100-104, no. 17. The estate contains a reproduction (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, t*1433). Ill. 374 .
5. At the commemorative exhibition Exposition centennale, held in the Palais du Champs de Mars (Galerie des Beaux-Arts) during the World Exhibition, Corot exhibited 44 paintings (cat. nos. 148-191), Manet 14 (cat. nos. 485-498), Delacroix 21 (cat. nos. 250-270), Millet 13 (cat. nos. 513-525), Ricard 7 (cat. nos. 577–583) and Daumier 5 (cat. nos. 229-233) See exhib. cat. Paris 1889-3, pp. 46-48, 52-54.
6. The painting The bedroom (F 482 / JH 1608 ) was damaged; see letter 765, n. 8.
The red vineyard (F 495 / JH 1626 ).
Marie Ginoux (‘The Arlésienne’) (F 489 / JH 1625 ).
9. This was the French painter Emile Ferdinand Polack, who painted many Spanish subjects, such as The triumph of the sword, 1889 (Paris, Musée d’Orsay), which was exhibited at the 1889 Salon (no. 2172). See cat. Paris 1990, vol. 2, p. 367. Cf. also FR b1189.
Theo often took people home to his apartment to show them Vincent’s work. On 27 June 1889 Jo van Gogh-Bonger wrote to her family in Amsterdam: ‘this morning I again had to make sure that all the rooms were tidied up very early, because a gentleman came to see Vincent’s paintings!’ (FR b4290).