My dear Theo,
Here’s a scratch of a larger watercolour.1 I’ve also started another one with many more figures — the last visitors to the seaside — an evening effect.2 I don’t know whether I’ll be able to get them to a high enough standard, but we must do what we can and struggle on until we get there.
Then, the large one of which I sent you a scratch in my last letter is coming along well.3
I definitely think that you’d be pleased by what I’m working on. Like me, you would also see immediately that I need a mass of figure studies. I’m putting all my efforts into that, and working almost every day with a model.
I’ve done more of the orphan man since, and this week I hope to get a woman from the home as well.
I’m desperately short of money, though. So many things are needed, I still even owe Stam a little.
Imagine, this week to my great surprise I received a package from home — with a winter coat, warm trousers, and a warm lady’s coat. I was very touched.4
The churchyard with the wooden crosses is often on my mind,5 so I may do some studies for it in advance – I would like to do something like that in the snow – a peasant funeral or the like. In short, an effect like the enclosed scratch of miners.6  1v:2 Just to complete the seasons,7 I’m sending a scratch of spring8 and one of autumn with it,9 which I thought of while making the first.
How beautiful it is outdoors — I’m doing my best to capture autumnal effects.
I’m writing to you in great haste, I assure you that there’s a lot involved in compositions with figures, and I’m very busy. It’s like weaving: you have to give it all your attention to keep the threads apart; you must control and keep an eye on several things at once.
The small drawing of the beach is more finished than the others because it was used to determine the size, while the others are less watercolour.
Well, I sincerely hope your pockets aren’t too empty — it’s so very beautiful these days that I must get something of it on paper.
Adieu, and write as soon as you can, and believe me

Ever yours,
 2r:3  3r:4


Br. 1990: 272 | CL: 236
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: The Hague, Sunday, 8 October 1882

1. It is not known which ‘scratch’ after which ‘larger’ watercolour this is; judging by the rest of the letter it was a beach scene (l. 42). Later Vincent writes that he had once sent Theo a small watercolour with this subject (letter 366).
2. Which watercolour of visitors Van Gogh means is not certain. Perhaps it was People strolling on the beach (F 1038 / JH 228). He also did a drawing with this subject: People strolling on the beach (F 980 / JH 204).
3. The poor and money (F 970 / JH 222 [2398]).
4. This package would have been inspired by his father’s successful visit to Vincent’s studio: see letter 269. The ‘warm lady’s coat’ was a sign that they did not entirely deny the presence of Sien.
5. The parents most probably wrote about the Nuenen churchyard; Theo had suggested it before as a possible subject, and Van Gogh’s father had also mentioned it (see letter 259, n. 6 and letter 269, n. 5).
6. The watercolour enclosed is Miners in the snow: winter (F 1202 / JH 229).
7. It is difficult to determine whether Van Gogh regarded one of the watercolours of the beach mentioned at the beginning of the letter as representing summer or whether here he meant another subject.
8. Orchard in blossom with two figures: spring (F 1245 / JH 230).
9. This small watercolour of autumn is not known.