My dear Theo,
Tomorrow I’ll send you a roll of canvases by goods train. There are four of them, i.e. the following

1 View of Arles, orchards in blossom1
2 The ivy2
3 The lilacs3
4 Pink chestnut trees in the botanical gardens in Arles4

which will hold their own with the ones you already have, such as the red and green Vineyard,5 The garden,6 The harvest,7 The starry sky.8
I’m also enclosing another 7 studies which are dry but which are studies after nature rather than subjects for paintings.
And that’s how it always is, you have to do several of them before you find a whole with character. Now here are the subjects of these 7 studies.
The irises9 – View of the asylum at St-Rémy,10 no. 30 canvases. Peach trees in blossom (Arles),11 Meadows (Arles),12 Olive trees (St-Rémy),13 Old willows (Arles),14 Orchard in blossom.15
Now the next consignment, which will follow shortly, will consist mainly of wheatfields and olive groves.
As you can see, I’ve been to Arles to fetch these canvases. The orderly from here16 accompanied me. We went to Mr Salles’s house, who had gone away on holiday for two months, then to the hospital to see Mr Rey, whom I didn’t find either. So we spent the day with my former neighbours,17 as well as my charwoman from those days18 and a few others.  1v:2
One becomes very attached to people one has seen while ill, and it did me a world of good to see some people again who were kind and indulgent towards me then. Someone told me that Mr Rey had taken an examination and had been to Paris,19 but the porter at the hospital said he didn’t know. I’m curious to know if you might have seen him, for he had planned to go and see the exhibition and then pay you a visit. The doctor from here20 will perhaps not go to Paris, he suffers a great deal from his gout.
I’ve also received the second consignment of canvases and colours, and I thank you very much for them.21 The latest canvas I’ve done is a view of mountains with a darkish hut among olive trees at the bottom.22
I imagine that you’ll be very absorbed by thoughts of the child to come, I’m very pleased that this should be so, with time I dare believe that you’ll thus find much inner serenity. The fact that one takes on a kind of second nature in Paris, that moreover preoccupations with business and art make one less strong than the peasants, doesn’t prevent one, through the bonds of having wife and child, from reattaching oneself all the same to that  1v:3 simpler and truer nature whose ideal sometimes haunts us.
What a business, that Secrétan sale.
It always pleases me that the Millets are holding their own.23 But how I would like to see more good reproductions of Millet. So that it can reach the common folk. The body of work is above all sublime considered as a whole, and it will become more and more difficult to form an idea of it when the paintings are dispersed.
I’m sorry not to be able to add the Wheatfield with the reaper24 to this consignment.
Write me a line soon.
Handshake to you and Jo.

Ever yours,


Br. 1990: 792 | CL: 600
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Sunday, 14 or Monday, 15 July 1889

1. Orchard in blossom with a view of Arles (F 516 / JH 1685 [2781]).
2. Trees with ivy in the garden of the asylum (F 609 / JH 1693 [2789]).
3. Lilacs (F 579 / JH 1692 [2788]).
4. Avenue of chestnut trees in blossom (F 517 / JH 1689 [2785]).
5. The green vineyard (F 475 / JH 1595 [2726]) and The red vineyard (F 495 / JH 1626 [2745]).
[2726] [2745]
6. Probably The public garden (‘The poet’s garden’) (F 468 / JH 1578 [2713]), which Van Gogh viewed as a pendant to Avenue of chestnut trees in blossom (F 517 / JH 1689 [2785]). See letter 767, n. 7.
[2713] [2785]
7. The harvest (F 412 / JH 1440 [2621]).
8. Starry night over the Rhône (F 474 / JH 1592 [2723]).
9. Irises (F 608 / JH 1691 [2787]).
10. The garden of the asylum (F 734 / JH 1698 [2791]).
11. La Crau with peach trees in blossom (F 514 / JH 1681 [2779]). Its size – 65.5 x 81.5 cm – means that it is a no. 25 canvas.
12. Field with flowers under a stormy sky (F 575 / JH 1422 [2606]). It measures 59.5 x 70 cm (slightly smaller than a no. 20 canvas).
13. This was presumably Olive trees (F 714 / JH 1858 [3067]), measuring 51.1 x 65.4 cm (no. 15 canvas). Specifying that the first two works are ‘no. 30 canvases’ implies that the others are smaller, so he cannot be referring to the three olive groves on no. 30 canvases (F 585 [2818], F 712 [2803] and F 715 [2819]).
[3067] [2818] [2803] [2819]
14. Road with pollard willows (F 520 / JH 1690 [2786]), measuring 55 x 65 cm (no. 15 canvas).
15. Orchard in blossom with a view of Arles (F 515 / JH 1683 [2780]), measuring 50.5 x 65 cm (no. 15 canvas).
16. This was possibly Charles-Elzéard Trabuc, the chief orderly who posed for Van Gogh two months later (letter 800).
17. Regarding Van Gogh’s neighbours at Arles, see letter 744, n. 6.
19. A letter from Rey to Theo of 30 December 1888 reveals that he had to defend his doctoral thesis in Paris. See letter 736, n. 15.
21. This is the order placed in letter 783.
22. The Alpilles with a hut (F 622 / JH 1766 [2823]).
23. Various Millets were sold at the Secrétan auction: the paintings The angelus [1697] (no. 63) and Returning from the fountain (no. 64), and the pastels Peasant watering two cows (no. 100) and The shepherdess (no. 101). They sold for 553,000 francs (to the State), 20,600, 26,000 and 25,200, respectively (see ‘Resumé du catalogue’). See auct. cat. Paris 1889 (Lugt 1938-1987, no. 48407). Cf. also letter 785, n. 8.
24. Reaper (F 617 / JH 1753 [2813]).