My dear Vincent
I’ve looked most attentively at your works since we parted; first at your brother’s place1 and at the Independents’ exhibition. It’s above all at this latter place that one can properly judge what you do, either because of things positioned beside each other, or because of the neighbouring works. I offer you my sincere compliments, and for many artists you are the most remarkable in the exhibition. With things from nature you’re the only one there who thinks.
I’ve talked about it with your brother, and there’s one that I would like to exchange with you for a thing  1r:2 of your choice.
The one I’m talking about is a mountain landscape. Two tiny travellers seem to be climbing up there in search of the unknown. It contains an emotion à la Delacroix, with a very evocative colour. Here and there red notes like lights, the whole in a violet note. It’s beautiful and imposing.2

I’ve talked at length about it with Aurier, Bernard and many others. All send you their compliments. Only Guillaumin shrugs his shoulders when he hears of it. Besides, I understand him,  1v:3 given that he only sees material things, with a brainless eye. He’s the same when it comes to my painting over these last few years, and understands nothing of it.
I hesitated greatly to write to you, knowing that you had just had a rather long crisis, so please don’t reply to me until you feel completely strong. Let’s hope that with the warm weather that will return you’re going to get well at last, the winter is always dangerous to you.  1v:4

Ever yours,


Br. 1990: 859 | CL: GAC 40
From: Paul Gauguin
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, on or about Thursday, 20 March 1890

1. Gauguin had visited Theo at home on 13 March (FR b4301).
2. Gauguin’s letter sketch was made after Van Gogh’s Ravine (F 662 / JH 1804 [2853]), which was on display at the exhibition. Regarding the exchange, see letter 858, n. 5.