My dear friend Rappard,
Are you continuing to make a good recovery? I do so long to have news of you. I recently bought 21 volumes of The Graphic, namely 1870-1880. What do you say about that? I’ll receive them this week, I hope. I got them very cheaply, you understand, otherwise I couldn’t have managed it. But I heard that they were for sale and got someone else interested who also appreciates them.1
Since your illness I’ve been working hard on Black and White drawings, and I hope to learn a thing or two from these Graphics about the strengths of black and white. I wish we could talk to each other again, because, old chap, what a lot there still is to do!
What I’ve been toiling at in particular lately is heads — Heads of the people — including fishermen’s heads with sou’westers.2
When I’ve looked through The Graphics I’ll write to you about them at greater length. Of course I’m bound to have many duplicates.  1v:2
Now I’ll be pleased to hear more about the batch that you bought, not just whether or not there are duplicates but also in general what interesting prints you find.
I found a girl’s head by Percy Macquoid that’s wonderfully fine, a woodcut after a painting by him.3 Other fine prints I’ve found since include

B. Constant Sick fellahs beside the Nile4
Julien Dupré Herdswoman5
Smith A street in South Lambeth6
Ridley Boat race7
Robinson ditto8
Green Street in Whitechapel9
Régamey Prison in New York10
Thulstrup Workroom in Sailors hospital or home11
Abbey Winter girl12
Peter Stuyvesandt13
Reinhart Fishermen14
Barnard 6 sheets15
Ed. Frère Wood gatherers16
Buckman donkeys on Hampstead Heath17
Gathering poppies18
Walker Tip girls (Miners)19

I had to go to some trouble to get The Graphic. For example, I had to do two portraits (two of each!) of the father and mother of the Jew I bought them from.20 But isn’t it a lucky find!
But it’s so odd that they’re already my property and yet I still haven’t seen them. They’re stored with another large batch of books in a saleroom, but the Jew will get them out this week.
Among the books is La mascarade humaine, 100 lithographs by Gavarni.21 I have them but do you? And the Jew has other things as well that are probably good.
Well, more soon. I hope you make a good recovery, in haste.

Ever yours,


Br. 1990: 303 | CL: R22
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Anthon van Rappard
Date: The Hague, The Hague, on or about Thursday, 18 January 1883

1. Van Gogh bought the 21 volumes, which had remained unsold at a book auction in The Hague, for 21 guilders from the Jewish bookseller Blok, who had bought them up: see letter 304. By way of comparison, Van Gogh paid 3.10 guilders rent per week (letter 320); Theo sent 150 francs, which amounted to about 75 guilders, each month.
Van Gogh was partly induced to make this large purchase by Van Rappard’s acquisition of a batch of magazines dating from 1870 to 1876 (see letter 287).
2. For the drawings of fishermen’s heads with a sou’wester, F 1016 / JH 304; F 1017 / JH 302 [2425]; F 1015 / JH 307; F 1012 / JH 308; F 1011 / JH 309 and F 1014 / JH 310, see letter 301, n. 5.
[454] [2425] [458]
3. Percy Thomas Macquoid, Girl of Pont-Aven, in The Illustrated London News 69 (30 December 1876), p. 617 (title page). Ill. 1091 [1091].
4. Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, Sick people waiting for the Nile to rise, in Harper’s Weekly 26 (9 September 1882), pp. 568-569. Ill. 704 [704]. The French title suggests that Van Gogh had a version of this print from a French magazine.
5. By Gardeuse de vaches by Julien Dupré he means Dans la prairie [794] (In the meadow): see letter 292, n. 9.
6. Probably [G.]F. Smith, Sunday morning in the New Cut, Lambeth, in The Illustrated London News 60 (27 January 1872), pp. 88-89. Ill. 1348 [1348]. The New Cut (now Lower Marsh) is in North Lambeth.
7. Most probably Matthew White Ridley’s The Oxford and Cambridge Universities boat-race: Hammersmith Bridge on a race day, in The Illustrated London News 60 (23 March 1872), engraved by Joseph Swain, pp. 288-289, which Van Gogh mentions in letter 304. Ill. 2026 [2026].
8. There were at least three ‘boat races’ by C. Robinson in The Illustrated London News: A sketch at the international boat-race 60 (15 June 1872), pp. 584-585 (Ill. 1282 [1282]), Sketches at the Oxford and Cambridge boat-race 72 (20 April 1878), p. 369 and The Oxford and Cambridge boatrace: The press boat in a fog on Saturday morning, and the race postponed. The race on Monday morning 76 (27 March 1880), p 289. Ill. 2027 [2027]. The estate also has Robinson’s Irish sketches: going to church (t*547) from the issue of 27 March 1880, and so the last of the three is the most likely candidate.
[1282] [2027]
9. Which print by Henry Towneley Green or Charles Green this is has not been established. The street life in Charles Green’s print Street acrobats, in The Graphic 3 (4 March 1871), p. 209 (t*158) does not look particularly impoverished, which makes Whitechapel rather unlikely. And there is little likelihood that Henry Towneley Green’s ‘St. Giles’s-in-the-Fields’, in The Illustrated London News 60 (20 April 1872), p. 385, is meant, because in the accompanying commentary a distinction is made between Whitechapel and St Giles’s.
10. Félix Régamey had done a series of four engravings entitled American sketches (‘American prison life’) consisting of: Prison life on Blackwell’s Island – No. 1. Returning from work, in The Illustrated London News 68 (19 February 1876), p. 180. Ill. 1251 [1251]. Blackwell’s Island penitentiary, New York – Dining-room, engraved by William James Palmer, in The Illustrated London News 68 (4 March 1876), p. 228. Ill. 1247 [1247]. Blackwell’s Island, New York: Dinner time, which consists of two scenes: Leaving the spoons and Taking bread, , engraved by William James Palmer in The Illustrated London News 68 (18 March 1876), p. 269. (Ill. 2055 [2055]), and Prison life in Blackwell’s Island, New York – Outdoor work, in The Illustrated London News 68 (17 June 1876), p. 588. Ill. 1248 [1248]. The first two and the last are in the estate (t*140; t*828 and t*787).
[1251] [1247] [2055] [1248]
11. Thure de Thulstrup, Sailors’ snug harbor, Staten Island – The work-room, in Harper’s Weekly 26 (12 August 1882), pp. 504-505. Ill. 1378 [1378].
13. Although Van Gogh put ditto marks under the name Abbey, he must mean George Henry Boughton, Peter Stuyvesandt and the maiden [2018]: see letter 295, n. 3.
14. Charles Stanley Reinhart, Making home for Christmas, engraved by W. Zimmerman, in Harper’s Christmas Pictures Paper. Christmas 1882. Done by The Tile Club & its literary Friends, p. 12; also included in Harper’s Weekly 26 (2 December 1882), pp. 772-773. Ill. 1256 [1256].
15. Which six sheets by Frederick Barnard these were cannot be determined; scores of prints are preserved in the estate, most of them from The Illustrated London News.
16. The wood engraving Gathering wood, after Edouard Frère, Gathering wood near Ecouen (1875), in The Illustrated London News 68 (22 January 1876), p. 81. Ill. 859 [859].
17. Since Van Gogh uses the plural ‘donkeys’ in his title, he must mean the print Quiet times: A sketch on Hampstead Heath, engraved by H. Buckman, in The Illustrated London News 67 (9 October 1875), p. 353. Ill. 655 [655]. Edwin Buckman, The Londoner’s holiday – Hampstead Heath, in The Graphic 4 (9 September 1871), pp. 252-253 shows only one donkey. Ill. 656 [656]. Moreover, most of the prints listed here also come from The Illustrated London News.
[655] [656]
18. Edwin Buckman, For the London market, engraved by Moritz Klinkicht, in The Illustrated London News 66 (12 June 1875), p. 557. The commentary accompanying the print refers to ‘gathering “pinks”’ (p. 558). Ill. 2057 [2057].
19. Francis S. Walker, Group of tip girls; engraved by William James Palmer, in The Illustrated London News 66 (27 February 1875), p. 193. Van Gogh writes Waller, but it should be Walker, whose print is also in the estate. Ill. 1413 [1413] (t*136).
20. These four portraits are not known. The portrait of the bookseller himself drawn by Van Gogh is, however: Jozef Blok, the bookseller (F 993 / JH 254 [2407]), see letter 280. Making the drawings should be seen as part of the purchase. For the Jewish bookseller Jozef Blok, see letter 199, n. 7.
a. Variant of ‘vondst’.