My dear friend Rappard
Thanks for your letter of 27 February, which I’m answering today. First of all your questions about lithography. You’ll have seen that it’s the same paper for ink or crayon. I get this paper from Jos. Smulders & Co., paper dealers, Spuistraat of this city; their warehouse is in Laan, and there they have a large stock of stones in various sizes. They called it ‘Korn paper’,1 and had ordered it for one of the ministries, where various maps were drawn on it for lithographing.
There were a few sheets over and I took all of it. He then said that he would order a few more sheets. I don’t know whether he did so, but in any case Smulders knows all about it and can order it within a few days by post. It’s rather expensive, 1.75 guilders a sheet. Lithographic crayon — as well as a type made specially for the paper, more expensive than the ordinary type and in my view greatly inferior to the sort not specially made for it — as well as autographic ink, liquid and in pieces, can also be obtained from Smulders and other places, for these ingredients can surely be found at all lithographers.
The scraper I used is this shape

and I bought it at Smulders. There’s also what’s known as a point, for scratching in hairs, say, at all events for quick, delicate scratches like those made by an etching needle, only white in black.

Needless to say, you can in fact use various things as a scraper. The shape doesn’t matter much – I did it with my pocket-knife as well.
How much do I pay for my experiments?? He’s promised to quote a fixed price, together with prices for printing and stones. The prices I paid provisionally don’t count since we had come to an arrangement, because the printer himself didn’t know at that point — and there were failures &c. However, I’m to get a quotation from Smulders which will be rather interesting but which he had to take time to work out.  1v:2 He was to quote me prices, that is, for stones of different sizes bought 12 at a time, and for printing one series of 1 and one series of 2 dozen drawings. And the price for paper. When I last spoke to him he was terribly busy and said, remind me at the end of March, then we’ll check on everything together in the warehouse. So for the present I know next to nothing about the actual prices.
The running of the ink when printing doesn’t depend directly on the thickness of the lines, at least I’ve seen enormously thick lines transferred perfectly. As to your friend who draws with a fine pen, that’s up to him, but I think it’s absolutely wrong, because I fear that in this way he’s trying to get something out of the process that isn’t in its nature. If one wants to work with a fine point and still be forceful, I know of only one way, namely etching. If one wants to work with a pen in autographic ink, my feeling is that one should certainly not use a pen finer than an ordinary writing pen.
Very fine pens, like very elegant people, are sometimes amazingly impractical, and in my view often lack the suppleness or elasticity that most ordinary pens have to some degree.2
Last year I bought at least 6 expensive, special penholders and various pens — it was all rubbish. But at first sight they looked very practical. Anyway, I don’t know either, some may be good, and a good result may come from working with autographic ink and fine pens — so be it — I’ll be pleased if it works out well, but I should think one would get more satisfaction from the fuller, bolder stroke of an ordinary quill pen, for example.  1v:3
Now another thing — do you know natural chalk? Last year I was given a few large pieces by my brother, this size, no less.3

I worked with it but didn’t pay it much attention and forgot about it. Now lately I found a piece again and I was struck by how beautiful its colour was, its blackness.
Yesterday I did a drawing with it, women and children at a hatch at the public kitchen where soup is sold.4 And I must tell you that this experiment pleased me very much indeed.

I scrawl some lines here at random to show you the range of black.5,6
Don’t you think it’s beautifully warm?
I immediately wrote to my brother for more of the same. Shall I send you a piece when I get it? But if you already know of it and can get it at your place, then you send me some. For I intend to use it continually in combination with lithographic crayon.
It’s just as if there were soul and life in the stuff, and as if it understands what one intends and itself cooperates. I’d like to call it Gypsy chalk.
Because the pieces are very big, there’s no need to use a holder.7 It has the colour of a ploughed field on a summer evening! I’ll get half a barrel if that’s the measure it’s sold by, which I doubt, however.8
Album des Vosges is already a fairly old publication, but it certainly does exist.9 And it’s beautiful. Your list of woodcuts has some fine things, especially the Lançons. I have Smugglers,10 but I lack Aid Committee, for example. But I have Soup distribution in duplicate – perhaps the same one but perhaps not,11 and have an inn with Rag-pickers12 in duplicate. So you can have them. I know sketches by Renouard of cats, pigs, rabbits13 but I haven’t got them. I have Speech by Gambetta14 and moreover Beggars on New Year’s Day too.15  1r:4
Have found 2 beautiful >Régameys, a Foundling hospital in Japan16 by F. Régamey, and soldiers in white cloaks keeping black horses in check by Guillaume Régamey, after a painted sketch,17 very fine. Read a short biography of both brothers.18 Guillaume is dead, was only 38 years old. Began by exhibiting some military paintings that resembled Bellangé. Afterwards he became rather reclusive, seems to have had an illness that made life difficult for him. Yet worked throughout it all — for years — when he was dead — a host of superb studies were found — which were then exhibited — while during his lifetime almost no one knew about them. Isn’t that beautiful?
F. Régamey travels a great deal and, as you know, is very strong in the Japanese.19 What you say about the French woodcuts in general is what I also feel: the English have found more of the soul of woodcuts, the original character that’s as singular as the character of etchings, such as Buckman, A London dustyard,20 and Harbour of refuge by Walker.21 Still, Boetzel and Lavieille22 know that too, though, but Swain is the master. I think, though, that the Lançons engraved by Moller are highly original in character.23 There is soul in the Feyen-Perrins24 by Boetzel, for example, and the Millets25 by Lavieille. But otherwise, well, often they lapse into the industrial, the unfeeling.
You ask after De Bock. I haven’t visited him for a long time, not since before I became ill. I noticed that whenever I looked him up or saw him he said ‘Oh, I’ll come round and see you’ in such a manner that I concluded I should take it as meaning: but don’t come to see me until I’ve been to see you, which isn’t going to happen. At any rate I haven’t gone back there, precisely because I don’t want to intrude. I know that De Bock is working on a very large painting at present.26 This winter I saw a few smaller ones that I thought very beautiful. I didn’t meet De Bock himself at his studio but on the street, twice recently, in fur coat, kid gloves &c. In short, like someone in extremely flourishing circumstances. And I hear on all sides that he is indeed what one might call flourishing.
I often find his work very beautiful, but it doesn’t remind me all that much of Ruisdael, for example, and on reflection that may not be your lasting impression either. Actually, I’d very much like to see his studio again, just because I’d so like to be convinced that it’s as beautiful as I’d like it to be, and now I can’t help having my doubts about him all the time. Last year my impression of him was really not very favourable — he was always talking about Millet — fine,  2r:5 and about the greatness, broadness, of Millet — for example, out of doors too; I once spoke to him about this in the Scheveningse Bosjes. I said then – But De Bock, if Millet were here now, would he look at those clouds and that grass and those twenty-seven tree-trunks and forget only that little chap in his bombazine suit who’s sitting eating, his spade at his side?
Or would that small part of the panorama where the little man sits be the point on which he fixed his attention? I don’t think I love Millet less than you, I said. The fact that you admire Millet gives me great pleasure, but forgive me if I don’t believe that Millet looked in the way you’re forever suggesting to me. Millet is above all, and more than anyone else, the painter of mankind. To be sure he painted landscapes, and it’s no doubt true that they’re beautiful, but it’s hard for me to understand how you can really mean what you say when you see in Millet above all the kind of thing you suggest to me.
In short, Rappard, in friend De Bock I find more of Bilders,27 for example, than of Millet or Ruisdael. Still, I may be mistaken or see more in him later, nothing would please me more.
I certainly like Bilders too, and there isn’t a painting by De Bock that I don’t see with some pleasure. They always have something fresh and friendly about them.
But there’s a certain kind of art, perhaps less flowery, more thorny, in which I find more for my heart.
I know Ruisdael himself had his metamorphoses, and his finest works may not be the waterfalls and grand views of woods but ‘The breakwater with russet waters’ and The bush in the Louvre.28 The mills at Van der Hoop.29 The bleaching grounds at Overveen in the Mauritshuis here.30 And more of the more ordinary things he went in for later on, probably because of the influence of Rembrandt and Vermeer of Delft.31 I’d like something like that to happen to De Bock. But will that be the case? I’d pity him if he didn’t land more in the thorns than in the flowers, that’s all.  2v:6
And although there has been an unintended coolness for some time now, nothing more serious than a few discussions about Millet and similar subjects has passed between us. And I’ve nothing against him — only so far I don’t exactly see the likes of Millet or Ruisdael in him. For the time being I find it like Bilders, not Gerard Bilders32 but the elder. And I certainly don’t dismiss that, and wouldn’t write so much about him if I didn’t care for him.
I’m still very happy with the changes to the studio, especially because the experiments I did with various models showed me that a great deal has been gained.
In the past a figure in the studio had no cast shadow, since the strong reflection threw light back on it. In this way all effects were neutralized. Now that drawback has been overcome.
Don’t think for a moment that I’m abandoning lithographs, but I’ve had so many expenses and have so many things I need to buy that I can’t tackle any new stones. Nothing will be lost by waiting a little.
But I’m longing to work more with natural chalk.
Do you know what I sometimes long for so much? — it’s to see your studio. And not just that, but also the area where you normally stroll and potter about in search of subjects. I’m sure there are beautiful courtyards and alleys in Utrecht too.  2v:7
The Hague is beautiful — and there’s enormous diversity. I hope to work hard this year. There are often financial difficulties, too, that hold me back — you will understand that — but I’ll concentrate more and more on Black and White, precisely because I want to and must work a lot.
With watercolour and painting, too, I have to keep stopping because of the costs, and with a piece of chalk or a pencil one has only the costs of the model and some paper.
I would rather spend what I have on models than on painting materials, I do assure you.
I’ve never complained about money spent on models.
Do you have the portrait of Carlyle — that beautiful one in The Graphic?33 At the moment I’m reading his ‘Sartor resartus’ — the philosophy of old clothes — under ‘old clothes’ he includes all manner of forms, and in the case of religion all dogmas. It’s beautiful — and honest — and humane.34 There’s been a lot of grumbling about this book, as with his other books. Many regard Carlyle as a monster. One nice comment on ‘the philosophy of old clothes’ is the following. Carlyle not only strips mankind naked but skins it too. Something like that.35 Well, that isn’t true, but it’s true that he’s honest enough not to call the shirt the skin — and far from finding a desire to belittle man in his work, I for one see that he puts man in a high position in the universe. At the same time, more than bitter criticism, I see love of mankind in him, a great deal of love. He — Carlyle — learned much from Goethe, but even more I believe from a certain man who wrote no books but whose words have survived nonetheless, although he didn’t write them down himself, i.e. Jesus. Before Carlyle he included many forms of all kinds under ‘old clothes’.36  2r:8
This week I bought a new 6-penny edition of Christmas carol and Haunted man by Dickens (London Chapman and Hall) with about 7 illustrations by Barnard, for example, a junk shop among others.37 I find all of Dickens beautiful, but those two tales — I’ve re-read them almost every year since I was a boy, and they always seem new to me. Barnard has understood Dickens well. Lately I again saw photographs after Black and White drawings by B., a series of characters from Dickens. I saw Mrs Gamp, Little Dorrit, Sikes, Sydney Carton, and several others.38
They’re a few figures worked up to a very high standard, very important, treated like cartoons.39 In my view there’s no other writer who’s as much a painter and draughtsman as Dickens.40 He’s one of those whose characters are resurrections. On a children’s print I found a small woodcut by Barnard engraved by Swain. A policeman in black drags along a woman in white who struggles against him. A band of street urchins follow behind. It’s almost impossible to express so much of the true character of a poor neighbourhood with fewer means. I’ll get another copy of that print for you — it’s only a small scratch.41
Unfortunately, I can’t get you the print Empty chair by Fildes,42 which I was promised along with some others. The man now remembers ‘clearing them up’ a few years ago.
Write again soon — may the work prosper in every respect.
Oh — I have a near complete French edition of Dickens translated under the supervision of Dickens himself.43
I believe you once told me that you couldn’t enjoy all of Dickens’s English works because sometimes the English was complicated, for instance the miners’ dialect in Hard times.44 If ever you would like to read some of it, it’s at your disposal, and I’m willing to exchange the whole collection of Dickens in French for something else, if you like. I’m gradually coming round to the idea of taking the English Household Edition.45 Adieu, with a handshake.

Ever yours,

In The Graphic, 10 Feb. 1883 there’s a little figure by Frank Holl, a child in an attic room,46 very real. I bought the issue for it.
The illustrations by John Leech47 and Cruikshank have character too, but the Barnards are more worked up. Leech, though, is strong with street urchins.48


Br. 1990: 327 | CL: R30
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Anthon van Rappard
Date: The Hague, on or about Monday, 5 March 1883

1. Korn paper is a strong, generally wood-free drawing paper with a grained texture. Carl Kappstein, Der künstlerische Steindruck. Handwerkliche Erfahrungen bei künstlerischen Flachdruckverfahren. Berlin 1910, lists different types.
a. Read: ‘alwaar’ (where).
2. This sentence closely resembles a passage crossed out in letter 410: ‘It’s the same with people as with brushes – the ones that look the best are not the best to work with.’ This may be a quotation.
3. The size of the sketch is 1.2 x 13 cm. They were hacked-out pieces of stone, so the dimensions varied widely.
4. Soup distribution in a public soup kitchen (F 1020 a/ JH 330 [2427]).
5. Means ‘range of black tones’. Read as ‘kleur’ (colour) of black in earlier editions.
6. The head of a woman in profile (letter sketch D) may be derived from a figure in Saison d’octobre [543] by Jules Bastien-Lepage (see letter 493, n. 9).
7. The holder (‘teekenpen’) gripped the sticks of natural chalk, making them easier to work with.
8. ‘It has the colour of a ploughed field on a summer evening! I’ll get half a barrel if that’s the measure it’s sold by, which I doubt, however’ was added later. Van Gogh used the word ‘mud’, a Dutch measure of capacity equivalent to 100 litres and applied chiefly to potatoes and coal.
9. See for Album des Vosges: letter 267, n. 9. The phrasing shows that Van Rappard has looked for the magazine, but failed to find it.
10. In the estate there are two prints after Auguste Lançon, both engraved by Frederick William Moller, that could be the one in question: Contrebandier (Smuggler), in Le Monde Illustré 17 (15 February 1873), p. 104. Ill. 1027 [1027] (t*34), and La douane et la contrebande dans les montagnes du Jura. Contrebandiers sautant la Valserine (Customs and contraband in the Jura mountains. Smugglers fleeing across the Valserine river), in L’Illustration 59 (16 March 1872), p. 172. Ill. 2076 [2076] (t*757).
[1027] [2076]
11. This could be the engraving La charité à Paris. Une distribution de vivres aux indigents à la porte d’une caserne (Charity in Paris. The distribution of food to the poor at the entrance to a barracks), in L’Illustration 72 (21 December 1878), p. 397, or one of the 17 etchings in A. Lançon, Guerre de 1870. Siège de Paris (The war of 1870. The siege of Paris), published by A. Salmon of Paris (Paris, BNF, Cabinet des Estampes). For Soup distribution [1940], engraved by Frederick William Moller, see letter 261, n 6.
13. Paul Renouard illustrated the supplement ‘Chatte et chatons’ by G. de Cherville with 15 cat scenes, ending with the full-page Premiers jeux (First games), in L’Illustration 73 (5 April 1879), pp. 218-220. Ill. 2077 [2077], Ill. 2078 [2078] and Ill. 390 [390].
A month before, a sheet with sketches of rabbits, entitled Les lapins, had appeared in L’Illustration 73 (15 March 1879), p. 173. Ill. 2079 [2079].
A drawing of pigs has not been traced in L’Illustration, but this could refer to Renouard’s La mère et les enfants (Mother and children); there is an illustration in Gazette des Beaux-Arts 47 (1905), 3rd series, vol. 33, pp. 223-232 (ill. on 227). Ill. 2080 [2080].
Lastly, Croquis d’animaux par P. Renouard (Animal sketches by P. Renouard). Gillot editeurs, Paris n.d., has colour pictures of all kinds of animals. Pigs and cats can be seen on several sheets; there is also a sheet with rabbits, including the one illustrated from L’Illustration and the Gazette des Beaux-Arts.
[2077] [2078] [390] [2079] [2080]
16. Félix Régamey, Chine – La cour de l’hospice des enfants trouvés de Canton (China – The courtyard of the orphanage in Canton), in Le Monde Illustré 23 (3 May 1879), p. 284. There is one copy in the estate. Ill. 1154 [1154] (t*750). Van Gogh is mistaken about the country.
17. Guillaume Urbain Régamey, Les cuirasseurs du 9e (The armoured men of the 9th division), engraved by Fortuné Louis Méaulle, in Le Monde Illustré 23 (19 April 1879), p. 252. There is one copy in the estate. Ill. 1253 [1253]. (t*37). Van Gogh derived his information from the caption, which says that the painting was hung at the Salon of 1869 and could be seen in Paris at the ‘Exposition de l’oeuvre de Guillaume Régamey au Cercle de la rue Saint-Arnaud’.
18. The biography is part of the article ‘L’exposition des oeuvres de Guillaume Régamey’, signed ‘L.F.’ See Le Monde Illustré 23 (19 April 1879), p. 250.
19. Van Gogh had several wood engravings by Félix Régamey on Japanese subjects, including Opening of the railway in Japan – Arrival of the Mikado; Sketches from Japan, travelling in the Kago and A Japanese dinner party, all three from The Illustrated London News 1872-1874 (t*10, t*681 and t*790).
22. This Lavieille – referred to later as ‘the wood engraver’ – is Adrien Lavieille.
23. In the estate there are eight Lançons that were engraved by Frederick William Moller: besides the four already mentioned (see nn. 10-12), they are Douanier (Customs officer) (t*39), L’instruction primaire, une école primaire dans le Haut Jura: la classe (Primary education, a primary school in the high Jura: the class) (t*754), L’hiver, la chasse sur la neige (In winter, hunting in the snow) (t*755) and Lionne à l’affut (Lioness ready to pounce) (t*756).
24. Ernest Philippe Boetzel published albums with engravings of works that had been shown at the Salon. The Album Boetzel. Le Salon 1869 included Feyen-Perrin’s Vanneuses de Cancale (Winnowers of Cancale), engraved by Tropsch (Ill. 2081 [2081]); the album for 1870 had Mélancolie (Melancholy) (Ill. 2082 [2082]).
[2081] [2082]
[1679] [1887]
26. This may be the painting Un bac en Hollande [2112] (A ferryboat in Holland) that Théophile de Bock showed at the Salon of 1883 (see letter 360, n. 3).
b. A working man’s suit of strong cotton.
27. Johannes Warnardus Bilders was known for his romanticized landscapes, principally of the woods and heaths in the province of Gelderland: the vicinity of Vorden, Oosterbeek, Wolfheze and Doorwerth (near Arnhem). It is clear from l. 213 that Van Gogh does not mean Gerard Bilders.
[1708] [1707]
29. Jacob van Ruisdael, The windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). Ill. 1312 [1312]. Also from the Van der Hoop collection – Van Gogh refers to ‘mills’ in the plural – is Ruisdael’s Landscape with watermill, 1661 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). Ill. 2083 [2083].
[1312] [2083]
31. This passage bears a strong resemblance to the description of Ruisdael’s oeuvre by E.J.T. Thoré (under the pseudonym W. Bürger) in Musées de la Hollande. See Thoré 1858-1860, vol. 2, p. 138.
c. Read: ‘meer bepaald’ (more specifically).
32. Gerard Bilders. ‘The elder’ is the father (see n. 27 above).
33. Van Gogh probably means the anonymous portrait engraving after a photograph of Thomas Carlyle in The Graphic 1 (30 April 1870), p. 516. Ill. 2084 [2084]. The commentary with it reads in part: ‘What he says may be true, or it may be false, or it may be exaggerated; but still there is something in it, and at least it is one aspect of a great and complex truth. He is clearly a strong man; that is he has a strong intelligence, and he knows very well what he himself means’. There are references to the ‘worshippers’ and ‘depreciators’ of this ‘thoroughly conscientious historian and critic’ (pp. 515-516). The picture was also in The Graphic Portfolio of 1877.
It used to be thought that here Van Gogh was referring to Helen Paterson, Carlyle in his garden, in The Graphic 14 (15 July 1876), Supplement, between pp. 56 and 57, which is in the estate. Ill. 1215 [1215] (t*120); there are also copies where the portrait comes before the whole volume as the frontispiece. Cf. exhib. cat. Nottingham 1974, p. 53.
[2084] [1215]
34. Thomas Carlyle incorporated his spiritual concerns and some autobiographical information into the satire Sartor resartus. The life and opinions of Herr Teufelsdröckh (1833-1834). He supposedly discusses the philosophy of the German professor Diogenes Teufelsdröckh. Old clothes are a central theme of the book. They are a metaphor for conventions and behaviour which people hide behind (particularly book 1, 11, ‘Prospective’, which deals with ‘The philosophy of clothes’.) Cf. also letter 274, n. 11.
35. On the criticism of the book at the time: Heffer 1995, pp. 156-157, 183-184. The particular criticism cited by Van Gogh has not been traced.
36. Carlyle unmasks the farce of outward appearances, and points despite his pessimism to Christian faith and love. He brings in Jesus and Goethe; the motto of the book is derived from the latter: ‘Mein Vermächtniss, wie herrlich weit und breit! / Die Zeit ist mein Vermächtniss, mein Acker is die Zeit’. See Carlyle 1987, p. 1.
37. Between 18 and 30 December 1882 A Christmas carol and The haunted man were published by Chapman and Hall of London in one volume for sixpence, with illustrations by John Leech, Clarkson Stanfield and Frederick Barnard. Barnard did eight illustrations in total (pp. 3, 6, 19, 21, 26, 35, 43, 53). The ‘junk shop’ refers to the illustration with the caption “What do you call this?” said Joe,“Bed curtains!”, engraved by the Dalziel Brothers. See A Christmas carol, p. 21. Ill. 530 [530].
38. Frederick Barnard’s Character sketches from Dickens (1879) contains portraits of Alfred Jingle, Esq. and Mr. Pickwick as well as those mentioned here. The series was later expanded to 16 and published as photogravures. Mrs. Gamp (Martin Chuzzlewit) Ill. 536 [536]; Little Dorrit (Little Dorrit) Ill. 535 [535]; Bill Sikes and his dog (Oliver Twist), Ill. 538 [538]; and Sydney Carton (A tale of two cities) Ill. 537 [537]; Alfred Jingle, Esq. (Pickwick papers) Ill. 2085 [2085] and Mr. Pickwick (Pickwick papers) (London, Witt Library). Ill. 2086 [2086].
[536] [535] [538] [537] [2085] [2086]
39. A ‘cartoon’ is a design drawn on thick paper or cardboard that is used to make a wall painting, tile tableau, stained-glass window or pattern for woven fabrics and suchlike.
40. This view is repeatedly encountered in Taine’s Histoire de la littérature anglaise. He writes: ‘There is in him a painter, and an English painter. No mind, I believe, has ever imagined in more precise detail or with greater energy, every part and every colour of a painting ... Dickens has the passion and the patience of his nation’s painters; he counts the details, one by one, he notes the different colours of old tree-trunks; he sees the split barrel, the broken, greenish cobblestones, the crevices in damp walls; he distinguishes the unusual smells they give off; he notes the size of patches of moss, he reads the names of schoolchildren inscribed on the door and dwells on the shape of the letters ... He’ll lose himself, like his country’s painters, in the minute and passionate observation of small things; he will never have any love for beautiful forms or beautiful colours.’ (Il y a en lui un peintre, et un peintre anglais. Jamais esprit, je crois, ne s’est figuré avec un détail plus exact et une plus grande énergie toutes les parties et toutes les couleurs d’un tableau ... Dickens a la passion et la patience des peintres de sa nation: il compte un à un les détails, il note les couleurs différentes des vieux troncs d’arbres; il voit le tonneau fendu, les dalles verdies et cassées, les crevasses des murs humides; il distingue les singulières odeurs qui en sortent; il marque la grosseur des taches de mousse, il lit les noms d’écoliers inscrits sur la porte et s’appesantit sur la forme des lettres ... Il se perdra, comme les peintres de son pays, dans l’observation minutieuse et passionnée des petites choses; il n’aura point l’amour des belles formes et des belles couleurs). See ed. Paris 1874, vol. 5, pp. 6, 16, 22 (‘Dickens’, chapter 1). Cf. letter 232, n. 14.
41. This children’s print by Barnard, engraved by Joseph Swain, is In de achterbuurt (In the slums). It is in the estate. Ill. 1364 [1364] (t*785). The source has not been traced.
43. Between 1857 and 1874 the works of Dickens were published in a 28-volume French translation under the title Oeuvres de Charles Dickens. Dickens himself had authorized the publisher, Hachette. See Forster 1872-1874, vol. 3, pp. 99, 103, 512.
44. For the dialect in Hard times, which is spoken by the worker Stephen Blackpool among others, Dickens based himself on the Lancashire dialect of northern England. For Blackpool’s vocabulary and pronunciation, see G.L. Brook, The language of Charles Dickens. London 1970, pp. 125-130.
46. Francis Montague Holl, Alone, in The Graphic 27 (10 February 1883), Supplement, between pp. 146 and 147. There is a copy in the estate. Ill. 938 [938] (t*2).
47. Leech contributed some 3000 designs to Punch and illustrated numerous books, including A Christmas carol by Dickens. See Engen 1995, pp. 154-155.
48. Van Gogh mentions Leech, Cruikshank and Barnard in sequence. This suggests that he had in mind the illustrators of Dickens’s work; see Guzzoni 2020, p. 213, n. 15. Van Gogh’s conclusive comment ‘Leech, though, is strong with street urchins’ probably refers to the illustrations that Leech created for the first edition of The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, which comprises four striking scenes with boys (London 1848, pp. 48, 68, 130, 145).
In letter 326 Vincent writes to Theo that he has sent Van Rappard several sketches in natural chalk of ‘our infant in various poses’ (l. 49). Since Baby crawling (‘Adventurer sallying forth’) (F 872 / JH 334, present whereabouts unknown) was once in Van Rappard’s possession, this drawing would have been one of those enclosed (letter sketch E); others are not known.