The correspondents: an overview in numbers

Total of the surviving correspondence: 903
Letters by Van Gogh: 820
Letters to Van Gogh: 83

1 The number of surviving letters by Vincent van Gogh

659 to Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger, brother and sister-in-law (651 to Theo, 1 to Jo, 7 to Theo and Jo)
58 to Anthon van Rappard, Dutch artist whom Van Gogh met in Brussels
22 to Emile Bernard, French artist whom Van Gogh met in Paris
21 to Willemien van Gogh, sister
12 to Anna van Gogh-Carbentus, mother (8 to her, 1 to her and Theo, 3 to her and Willemien)
6 to Willem van Stockum and Caroline van Stockum-Haanebeek, acquaintances in The Hague (4 to Caroline and Willem, 2 to Caroline)
5 to Theodorus van Gogh and Anna van Gogh-Carbentus, parents
5 to Anton Kerssemakers, an amateur artist to whom Van Gogh gave lessons in Nuenen
4 to Paul Gauguin, French artist whom Van Gogh met in Paris
4 to Joseph Ginoux and Marie Ginoux-Julien, managers of the Café de la Gare in Arles (2 to Joseph and Marie, 2 to Joseph)
4 to Michiel de Zwart, Van Gogh’s landlord in The Hague
3 to John Peter Russell, Australian artist whom Van Gogh met in Paris
2 to Cornelis Marinus van Gogh, uncle
2 to Arnold Hendrik Koning, Dutch artist whom Van Gogh met in Paris
1 to Charles Angrand, French artist whom Van Gogh met in Paris
1 to Albert Aurier, French art critic
1 to Eugène Boch, Belgian artist whom Van Gogh met in Arles
1 to Egbert Borchers, acquaintance in The Hague
1 to Hendrik Jan Furnée, seller of artists’ materials in The Hague
1 to Antoine Philippe Furnée, surveyor, amateur artist to whom Van Gogh gave lessons in The Hague (son of the above)
1 to Johannes van Hombergh, mayor of Nuenen
1 to Horace Mann Livens, English artist whom Van Gogh met in Antwerp
1 to Octave Maus, secretary of the avant-garde Les Vingt artists’ society, Brussels
1 to Paul Signac, French artist whom Van Gogh met in Paris
1 to Hermanus Gijsbertus Tersteeg, Vincent and Theo’s superior at Goupil & Cie in The Hague
1 to Betsy Tersteeg, daughter of the above
1 to Hendrik Verzijl, retired tutor of Helvoirt

2 The number of surviving letters to Vincent van Gogh

46 from Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger (39 from Theo, 2 from Theo and Jo, 5 from Jo)
16 from Paul Gauguin
>4 from Joseph Roulin, postal worker in Arles and Marseille
2 from Joseph Ginoux and Marie Ginoux-Julien (1 from Joseph, 1 from Marie)
2 from Arnold Hendrik Koning
2 from Paul Signac
1 from Willemien van Gogh
1 from Anna van Gogh, sister
1 from Hendrik Bonger and Hermine Bonger-Weismann (Jo’s parents) and Anna van Gogh-Carbentus
1 from Henriette Lamblot-Gaudin, bookseller in Arles
1 from Octave Maus
1 from Paul Eugène Milliet, French soldier whom Van Gogh met in Arles
1 from Christian Mourier-Petersen, Danish artist whom Van Gogh met in Arles
1 from Théophile Peyron, medical director of the asylum in Saint-Rémy
1 from Anthon van Rappard
1 from John Peter Russell
1 from Frédéric Salles, clergyman in Arles

3 Related manuscripts

Included in this edition are 25 letters that are either unfinished, crossed out, incomplete and/or were not sent which have been grouped together in this edition as ‘Related manuscripts’: a one-line note from Paul Gachet, Van Gogh’s doctor in Auvers, and 24 letters by Van Gogh. Thirteen of the latter were addressed to Theo, two to Theo and Jo, one to Willemien, one to Russell, one to the Dutch art critic Joseph Isaäcson, and one to Hendrik Jan Furnée. The addressee of one fragment, RM14, is not known. Another fragment of a letter and a copied-out poem (RM1 and RM12) may have been intended for Vincent’s sister Anna.

4 The unknown letters

In addition to the 902 surviving letters there must have been at least 550 to Van Gogh and 290 from him that we no longer have. Van Gogh is known to have corresponded with the people listed below, but the letters have not survived. That they must have existed at one time is clear from remarks in Van Gogh’s own correspondence, that of the family, or other sources. The section ‘Lost correspondence’ (4.2) takes a closer look at this group of correspondents.

Known correspondents whose letters to Van Gogh (and vice versa) are lost

Possible correspondents

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