Paris, 23 April 1890

My dear Vincent,
Your silence proves to us that you’re still suffering, and I need to tell you, my dear brother, that Jo and I are also suffering, knowing that you’re still ill.1 Oh, we’d be so happy if we could do something for you that might give you relief. Dr Peyron writes to us that we mustn’t worry, and that this crisis, although longer than the  1v:2 others, will also pass.2 If the distance weren’t so great I would certainly have come to see you already, and I’m counting on you, the day you need me, or feel that it could do you some good to talk with me, to let me know and I’ll come running immediately. Last week I had been married for a year already.3 How swiftly time passes. We have every reason to be satisfied with that year. I haven’t forgotten that you insisted a great deal on my getting married, and you saw rightly, for I feel much, much happier. It’s true that  1v:3 my wife isn’t just anyone, and that I was enormously lucky to find her. We get along very well and our domestic life is very agreeable. The little one gives Jo, especially, a great deal of work, but he’s growing amazingly. He’s nervous by nature, but very sweet. He can stay awake for hours without crying, and he’s beginning to laugh and to make sounds that must be the beginnings of speech. It would do you good if you could see him and play with him. At Whitsun we intend to go and spend the two feast days at Pissarro’s, who has invited us. This summer he’s going to London  1r:4 to work.4 Your paintings at the exhibition are very successful. The other day Duez stopped me in the street and said, give my compliments to your brother and tell him that his paintings are quite remarkable. Monet said that your paintings were the best in the exhibition. Many other artists have spoken to me about them. Serret came to the house to see the other canvases and was delighted. He says that if he didn’t have a genre in which he still had things to say he would change and search along the path where you’re searching.
Lauzet is back, he wasn’t able to stop by and see you, because his mother and sister who lived in Marseille have come to stay with him here, and he had to help them move house and didn’t have the money to go out of his way.5 My dear brother, you should know that nothing in the world would give me greater pleasure than knowing you were happy and well, and that every day I make wishes for your speedy recovery. Be of good heart, and good handshake from Jo and from your brother who loves you.



Br. 1990: 862 | CL: T32
From: Theo van Gogh
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, Wednesday, 23 April 1890

1. Two days before, Jo had written about Theo to her sister Mien: ‘he has been to see Gruby and has yet another remedy for his cough, but he looks very bad, shivers constantly and has little appetite. The business affairs he was so deeply involved in have almost all gone badly, that’s one of the main reasons, and then still no letter from Vincent’ (FR b4303, 21 April 1890).
2. It is not known how often Peyron wrote to Theo to inform him of Vincent’s condition. In any case, he had reported on 1 April 1890: ‘This attack is taking longer to abate than the previous one. At times, he seems almost himself again; he understands what he is feeling, only for the situation to change again a few hours later, when the patient once more becomes sorrowful and troubled, and no longer answers the questions put to him. I am confident that he will regain his reason as he did on the previous occasions, but it is taking much longer this time’ (Cet accès met plus longtemps à disparaître que les précédents, par moments, on dirait qu’il va revenir à lui; il rend compte des sensations qu’il éprouve, puis quelques heures après la scène change, le malade redevient triste et soucieux et ne répond plus aux questions qu’on lui adresse. J’ai confiance qu’il reviendra à la raison comme les autres fois, mais c’est beaucoup plus long à venir). See FR b1063; Hulsker 1971, pp. 43-44.
On 15 April Theo had written the following to his mother and his sister Willemien: ‘It is now more than a month since I received a letter from Vincent’s own hand. The doctor wrote the last time that it is still very rare for him to be his old self. He usually sits with his head in his hands, and if someone speaks to him, it is as though it hurts him, and he gestures for them to leave him alone. How sad that condition is, and Dr Peyron says that although he has hope that the crisis will soon be over, it will leave its mark on his constitution. If only we could do something for him, but having him come here would be irresponsible unless one were sure that there is not one moment of danger that the crisis will return during the journey or while here. It is such a pity, just now when he is having such success with his work. Many people have taken notice of his work, including Obreen, the writer of the article in the N. Rotter. Nice of those people in Nuenen to send it to you’ (FR b928). Regarding this article, see letter 860, n. 4.
a. Read: ‘tout de suite’.
3. Theo and Jo had married on 18 April 1889.
4. In the end, Theo and Jo did not spend Whit Sunday – 25 May – at the Pissarro’s in Eragny, because Camille Pissarro and his son Lucien had already gone to London. They arrived there around 23 May for a stay of about a month. See Correspondance Pissarro 1980-1991, vol. 2, pp. 352 (n. 3), 354 (n. 1).
5. In January Lauzet had travelled from Paris to Marseille, and he had planned to visit Vincent in Saint-Rémy on his return trip. See letter 843. He lived in Paris at 29 boulevard Pereire. Cf. exhib. cat. Paris 1988, p. 363. No information on Lauzet’s mother and sister has been found in the Paris archives.