22 July 1890

My dear Vincent,
From Holland Jo sent me your letter, which had followed us, and I read it with some surprise. Where did you see these violent domestic quarrels?1 That we were very tired by uninterrupted preoccupations on the subject of all our futures, yes; that I didn’t really know where my interest lay with this affair as regards the company,2 yes, but really I don’t see the intense domestic quarrels you speak of. Is it the discussion with Dries? Certainly I’d wanted to see him a little bolder in undertaking  1v:2 something,3 but that’s how it is, and it’s no reason to break with him. Is it perhaps, but I can’t believe it, that you consider it an intense domestic quarrel that Jo asked you not to put the Prévost4 in the place where you wanted to hang it? She hadn’t thought to hurt you with that, and certainly would have preferred you to leave it there than to get angry about it. Her child preoccupies her too much for her to have much time to think about painting, and although she already sees much better than she used to, she doesn’t always see immediately what’s in it. No, if it was that trifle I would tell you to stop it, for it’s not worth the trouble of bothering with it. I hope, my dear Vincent, that your health is good, and as you said that you’re writing with difficulty and don’t speak to me about your work, I’m a little afraid that there’s something that’s bothering you or that isn’t  1v:3 going right. In that case, do go and see Dr Gachet, he’ll perhaps give you something that will buck you up again. Give me news of you as soon as possible.
Last Tuesday I took Jo and the child to Leiden and stayed there until Thursday. Mother has indeed aged a little, but she was so pleased to see her grandson, and it was amusing to see how she took him and made him happy. Wil was also well and was very kind to us. Jo stayed with them for another day after I left, and then left for Amsterdam where she still is.
I hope that everyone is making efforts not to tire her but is allowing her a little rest, she had such need of it, for it’s hard labour, I assure you. Unfortunately, like here, the weather isn’t settled there, so that she can’t be out in the open air much and nor can  1r:4 the child. I think that it might well be that she wishes to come back sooner than we’d planned, but it’s good on the other hand that her house here pleases her more than that of her parents. I’ll be very pleased when she’s back, for the house is so deserted! And I miss the little one too. Our life, precisely through this child, is so closely bound together that you mustn’t be afraid that one small disagreement, if you saw one, might occasion a divergence that will make conciliation difficult. So don’t think about that any more. As for me, the journey to Holland has done me a lot of good and made me take a lot of rest, which I very much needed.5 Let’s hope that the health of all of us may improve, for health is a great deal. Enclosed I’m sending you 50 francs – write to me quickly, and believe me your brother who loves you.



Br. 1990: 906 | CL: -
From: Theo van Gogh
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, Tuesday, 22 July 1890

1. On 20 July 1890, Theo wrote to Jo about Vincent’s letter, which is not known, but which must have been written about 16 July (it was apparently forwarded to the Netherlands, and finally arrived, via Jo, on 19 July at Theo’s in Paris): ‘I understand from Vincent’s letter that what he means by domestic quarrels are my attempts to achieve my own ends in the matters I discussed with Dries. That’s the only explanation I can think of, it’s certainly not clear. If only he’s not melancholy and heading for another crisis, it was all going so well’ (See FR b2058; Brief happiness 1999, pp. 249-250, with a small change in the translation).
2. This refers to the firm of Boussod, Valadon & Cie.
3. Andries had withdrawn his offer to be Theo’s business associate. See letter 900, n. 6.
a. Read: ‘stable’.
5. The journey had also brought Theo to the decision to stay for the time being with Boussod, Valadon & Cie. On 22 July, Theo informed his mother and Willemien about his interview with his employers the day before (about which he says nothing at all to Vincent): ‘I haven’t written to you since I’ve been back, because I was waiting for a resolution on the part of the Gentlemen. On the way and coming back here, I realized so clearly that recklessly giving up my position to plunge into uncertainty was a very dangerous matter, for I did have hope of finding the money to start my own business, but was not sure of it by any means. I thought about it so much that I was nearly desperate about having let things come so far and perhaps being very soon without one penny of income. So yesterday morning I had another talk with the Gentlemen and found that they are not really ill-disposed towards me. I said that when I had first spoken I had had rather a lot of faith in my lucky stars, and had not thought enough about the power of the firm, but that on second thoughts I had come to the conclusion that it was wiser for me to stay and that even if they thought I didn’t deserve a rise, I would reconcile myself to it and manage to get by. Etienne B was then very friendly and said that nothing had been decided yet about my salary and that they would see if they could make things easier for me. I only hope that now I can do some business, that would surely be the best thing to help them make up their minds, but it is a quiet time [for business]’ (FR b933).