My dear Theo,
You could send the attached order for colours1 at the beginning of the month, anyway at the most convenient moment, there’s no urgency for a few days earlier or later.
Yesterday and the day before yesterday I painted Miss Gachet’s portrait, which you’ll see soon, I hope.2 The dress is pink.

The wall in the background green with orange spots, the carpet red with green spots, the piano dark violet. It’s 1 metre high and 50 wide.
It’s a figure I enjoyed painting – but it’s difficult.
He’s promised to get her to pose for me another time with a little organ. I’ll do one for you – I noticed that this canvas looks very good with another horizontal one of wheatfields, thus – one canvas being vertical and pink, the other pale green and green-yellow, complementing the pink.3

But we’re still a long way from people understanding the curious relationships that exist between one piece of nature and another, which however explain and bring each other out.  1v:2
But a few, though, do feel it, and that’s already something. And then this has been gained, that in women’s clothes one sees very pretty arrangements of bright colours. If only one could have the individuals one sees pass by to do their portraits, it would be as pretty as any past era, and I even think that often in nature there is currently all the grace of Puvis’s painting, Between art and nature.4 Thus yesterday I saw two figures, the mother in dark carmine dress, the daughter in pale pink with a yellow hat without any ornamentation, very healthy figures, rustic, well tanned by the open air, burned by the sun, the mother especially with a very, very red face and black hair and two diamonds in her ears.5 And I thought again of that canvas by Delacroix, Maternal upbringing. For in the expressions on the faces there really was everything that there was in the head of George Sand.6 Do you know that there’s a bust-length portrait of George Sand by Delacroix, there’s a wood engraving of it in L’Illustration – with the hair cut short.7
Good handshake in thought to you and Jo, and good fortune with the little one.

Ever yours,


Br. 1990: 898 | CL: 645
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Auvers-sur-Oise, Saturday, 28 June 1890

1. The paint order has not been preserved.
2. Marguerite Gachet at the piano (F 772 / JH 2048 [2932]), after which Van Gogh made the letter sketch of the same name F - / JH 2049.
3. Wheatfields (F 775 / JH 2038 [2928]), after which Van Gogh made the letter sketch Wheatfields (F - / JH -). To give an impression of what the two paintings look like in combination, Van Gogh made the second sketch of Marguerite Gachet at the piano (F - / JH -).
5. The motif Van Gogh describes here displays similarities to that of the small study Two women walking in the fields (F 819 / JH 2112); the colour of the women’s clothing is different, however.
7. Delacroix, George Sand wearing a man’s suit, 1834 (private collection). The first print made after it, a steel engraving by Luigi Calamatta, appeared on 15 July 1836 in Revue des Deux Mondes (between pp. 128-129). See Johnson 1981-1989, vol. 3, pp. 42-43, cat. no. 223.
Van Gogh is mistaken about the name of the journal; the print had appeared in La Vie Moderne 4 (10 June 1882), no. 23, p. 358, L’Univers Illustré 27 (9 August 1884), p. 504 and again in L’Univers Illustré 28 (4 April 1885), p. 213. Ill. 2318 [2318].