My dear Theo,
I’m enclosing a word or two because they’re writing to you,1 for I thought you’d like to hear from me as well once in a while about what I’m actually doing.
If it isn’t raining, I go outdoors every day, usually on the heath.
I’m making my studies quite large, like a few you saw here during your visit.2
So I’ve done, among other things, a hut on Het Heike and also that barn with a moss-covered roof in Roosendaalseweg, which here they call the Protestant barn.3 Perhaps you’ll recall what I mean.
Then the mill nearby, in the meadow opposite,4 and the elm trees in the cemetery.5
And also one with woodcutters working in a wide open space where a large pine-wood has been cut down.6 I’m also trying to draw the implements, such as a cart, plough, harrow, wheelbarrow &c. &c.7
The one with the woodcutters turned out the best, and I think it would please you.
Perhaps Rappard will be coming here for a while this summer, I’ve had a letter from him.8
In thought a handshake, and believe me

Ever yours,


Br. 1990: 166 | CL: 145
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Etten, second half of May 1881

1. This letter must have been sent with a letter, which has not survived, written by Mr and Mrs van Gogh to Theo.
2. For Theo’s visit, see letter 166.
3. Het Heike (St. Willibrorddorp) lies about 3 km south-west of Etten. The first drawing could be Landscape with a hut, 45.5 x 61 cm (F 842 / JH 5). The second drawing mentioned, that of the ‘Protestant Barn’ in Roosendaalseweg remains unidentified. Hut (F 875 / JH 4) probably dates from the Brussels period (cf. the related drawing Winter F 1235 / JH C.B.).
[155] [155] [962]
4. This drawing of the so-called ‘Molen van Coppens’ (the mill was demolished in 1974) in Roosendaalseweg is not known. The mill depicted in Landscape with a windmill (F 843 / JH 6) is De Oranjeboom in Spuiweg in Dordrecht.
5. The cemetery next to the Dutch Reformed Church; regarding the three locations mentioned, see Kerstens 1990, pp. 17-18. This drawing is not known.
6. This drawing is not known.
7. These drawings of farm implements are not known.
8. Van Rappard actually visited Van Gogh in June; see letter 168.