My dear Theo,
Today I’m sending a package of 3 studies which I hope are dry enough.1 However, if they stick to the sheet of paper I laid on them as a precaution, soak them off with lukewarm water. The smallest one, in particular, has sunk in a lot, go over it with the white of an egg in about a week, or some varnish in a month’s time, to lift them. I’m sending them to let you take a look, and better after this — really.
I forgot to reply to what you write about sending the you know what. For the time being would you send a postal order like the last, until I know of an exchange office — deduct expenses, though.
Received a letter from home that Pa had been unwell as a result of a fall — I hope it isn’t more serious than they say. Do you know anything more about it?2
Went further into the peat fields last week3 — marvellous scenes, the longer I stay here the more beautiful I find it, and from the outset I’ll try to stay here in this region. For it’s so beautiful here that at the same time a great deal of study is needed to capture it, and only solid work can give a truer understanding of things as they are at bottom, and of their serious, sober nature. I came across superb figures — but again, a nature that has so much nobility, so much dignity and gravity must be treated with maturity and patience and prolonged work. This is why, in my view, from the outset I mustn’t regard it as just coming to take a look around here, but it’s in the nature of the thing, if all goes well and we’re granted a little good fortune, that I’ll stay for good. Write again soon, won’t you — I’m longing to hear, for despite all the beauty outside I still feel dejected. Adieu, with a handshake.

Ever yours,

My regards to Wisselingh when you see him, and tell him I’m here.


Br. 1990: 392 | CL: 327
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Hoogeveen, Monday, 24 September 1883

1. It is not possible to say with any certainty which paintings were sent. Cottages (F 17 / JH 395 [2446]) comes from Theo’s collection and could therefore have been part of this shipment. However, cf. also letter 406, n. 6.
2. Mrs van Gogh told Theo on 1 October 1883 that she was sorry that he had had to hear from Vincent that Mr van Gogh had had a fall. She described the accident as follows: ‘Pa choked on a mouthful of tea while he was getting dressed and couldn’t get his breath, lost his balance and fell, hitting his nose on the frame at the bottom of the bed, the nose bled severely and Pa was light-headed for the first couple of days, all the same he preached all right twice on Sunday’ (FR b2245).
3. The peat had already been exhausted within the municipal boundaries of Hoogeveen. Since the area around the districts of Eleveld in the municipality of Ruinen (to the north of Hoogeveen) was being reclaimed in the 1880s, but peat was still being dug to the east of this, near Tiendeveen, Nieuweroord and Nieuwlande, Van Gogh must have been here. According to Dijk and Van der Sluis 2001, pp. 130-133, 137.