My dear Vincent,
I wanted to write to your brother but I know you see each other every day1 and I’m afraid to trouble him, occupied as he is with business from morning till night.
I have left to work in Brittany (always the rage to paint), and I had high hopes of having funds for that. The little I’ve sold went to pay off some pressing debts, and in a month I’m going to find myself with nothing. Zero  1v:2 is a negative power.
I don’t want to put pressure on your brother, but a brief word from you on this subject would set my mind at rest, or at least enable me to hold on. My God, how terrible these money matters are for an artist!
And if we have to make some reductions don’t worry, as long as I find some funds.2 I’ve just spent a fortnight in bed, struck down again by fever,3 and I’m getting back to work. If I can eke things out for  1v:3 5 or 6 months I think I’ll bring back some good canvases.
A word of encouragement in reply if possible.4

Ever yours,

Pont-Aven, at Madame Gloanec’s


Br. 1990: 583 | CL: GAC 28
From: Paul Gauguin
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Pont-Aven, on or about Wednesday, 29 February 1888

1. Gauguin was evidently unaware that Van Gogh had gone to Arles; he himself having left Paris for Brittany on 26 January. See Merlhès 1989, p. 61.
2. In December 1887 Theo had taken several recent works by Gauguin on commission. He showed four paintings, The beach at Dieppe [2143] (W178/W166), Bathing at the watermill in the Bois d’Amour (W221/W272), Landscape with swine (W229/-) and Coming and going (W245/-), and five ceramic objects by Gauguin, followed in January by the exhibition of one painting, Two female bathers (W241/W215). On 26 December 1887 Theo had made his first sale of one of his works, Bathing at the watermill in the Bois d’Amour, for 450 francs. See Wildenstein 2001, pp. 217, 276, 287, 328, 314, 608.
[2143] [664] [665] [666]
3. In 1888 Gauguin suffered for several months from the after-effects of the malaria, dysentery and hepatitis he had contracted during his trip to Panama and Martinique with the painter Charles Laval (from April to October 1887). See exhib. cat. Washington 1988, p. 45.
4. In letter 583 of about 9 March, Vincent told Theo that he had written to Gauguin and given him Russell’s address in the hope that he would buy work by Gauguin.
5. Gauguin was staying in the boarding-house run by Marie-Jeanne Gloanec-Morvan in Pont-Aven, 13 place de la Mairie, Finistère (Brittany). Cf. Correspondance Gauguin 1984, pp. 433-436 (with a photograph of the boarding-house).