My dear Theo,
Today I sent you 1 drawing of Kitchen gardens in Laan van Meerdervoort.1
So now you have a figure of mine2 and a landscape. And I think you’ll see that I’m not staying at the same level.
Even though this is ‘only white and black’ and unsaleable??? and disagreeable??? I still hope that there may be something strong in it. And I think that, far from holding it against me for devoting myself specifically to drawing things, one can see it as definite proof that I’m taking the most practical path. Considering that one can more easily go from drawing to painting than the other way round: making paintings without drawing the necessary studies.
It goes without saying that it gives me great displeasure and doesn’t make my life any easier when those whose sympathy I more or less thought I could count on, such as Mauve and H.G.T., become indifferent or hostile and hateful. I haven’t heard anything from Mauve, sometimes he’s ill, at other times he needs to rest or is too busy. How beautiful his painting for the Salon was.  1v:2 But you understand these things yourself, so enough of this.
This little drawing also needs a small grey mount.3
You write that you’ve moved house.4 I’ll do my best to make something now and then for the walls of your new home.
I may also have a few nice woodcuts, if you’d like them, since I have duplicates of several nice things. But you must look at them when you come this summer.
Though I haven’t moved, I’ve nevertheless made a change in my house by having a bedroom partitioned off in the attic, so I now have more room in my studio, the more so because the stove is gone.5
Drawing, you see, involves all kinds of things that many would prefer to disregard.  1v:3 There’s the true perspective of an interior, for example (sometime I’ll send you one of those as well), there are the broad outlines of a landscape, and as for me, I see no chance of success without studying the nude. All of that is essentially drawing, much is clarified when one has mastered that to some extent, and I, for my part, go calmly on my way, knowing that if I persevere, before long I’ll overtake those who think they can skip over such things.
Well, I wish you the best – it’s very bleak and windy here, which I find particularly annoying because I can’t get on with the townscapes for C.M., which I’d otherwise capture in my spare moments.6 But surely it will become mild again.
With a handshake,

Ever yours,

Perhaps more effort went into this little drawing than into many a watercolour. I sent it to blvd Montmartre7 so that you could immediately mount it and press it flat.


Br. 1990: 217 | CL: 188
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: The Hague, Tuesday, 18 or Wednesday, 19 April 1882

1. This drawing is not known.
2. This figure is an unknown version of Sorrow (see letter 216).
3. As regards this advice, which was probably prompted by reading Edmond and Jules de Goncourt’s Gavarni, l’homme et l’oeuvre, see letter 216, n. 4.
4. Theo, in Paris, had moved to 25 rue Laval (also called rue de Laval, now rue Victor Massé), in the ninth arrondissement. The exact date of this move is not known, but it definitely took place at the beginning of April. Theo lived at this address until June 1886.
a. Meaning: ‘laten afscheiden door middel van een wand’ (partition it off by means of a wall).
5. It was customary to dismantle the stoves in the spring, so that the rooms seemed larger. They were replaced in the autumn (cf. letter 274). The stove of the studio is visible in the following drawings: F - / JH 91, F 1116a / JH 139 [2370], F 936 / JH 140, and F 898 / JH 141.
[2370] [249]
b. Meaning: ‘voorts’ (furthermore).
6. An expression that means ‘to make the most of opportune moments’. In the context of this letter, however, it could have been meant literally, although ‘bleak and windy’ do not necessarily spell rain.
With regard to ‘snappen’, meaning: ‘grijpen’, ‘op papier zetten’ (seize, capture, commit to paper), cf. Van Gogh’s choice of words ‘dingen op heterdaad vatten’ (capture things first-hand) in letter 220.
7. The branch of Goupil’s where Theo worked was located at 19 boulevard Montmartre.