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042 To Theo van Gogh. Paris, Thursday, 2 September 1875.

METADATA
No. 042 (Brieven 1990 042, Complete Letters 35)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Paris, Thursday, 2 September 1875
Source status
Original manuscript
Location
Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b44 V/1962
Date
Letter headed: [Paris, le] 2 Sept. [187]5.

ORIGINAL TEXT
1r:1
Goupil & Cie
Editeurs Imprimeurs
Estampes Franaises & trangres
Tableaux Modernes
Rue Chaptal, 9, PARIS.
Succursales la Haye, Londres, Berlin, New-York.
Paris, le 2 Sept. [187]5.
Waarde Theo,
Dezen morgen hoorde ik van Pa en van U het bericht van Oom Jans dood.

Zoo iets doet ons wel zeggen Verbind Gij o

Heer ons innig aan elkaar & laat de liefde tot U dien band meer & meer versterken

& Crains Dieu & garde ses

commandements; car cest l le tout de lhomme.


In de eerste kist schilderijen die naar Holland gaat zult gij enkele lithographies & de bewuste gravure naar Rembrandt
vinden. 4 De twee lith. naar Bonington zullen wel naar Uw zin zijn. Bij de zelfde gelegenheid stuur ik U een paar phot. naar
Jules Breton & Corot voor Pa, ik zal achterop voor Helvoirt zetten.
Van dien schilder Pynas, waarover gij schrijft, heb ik nooit gehoord, ik ben verlangend het bewuste schij te zien.
lithographie naar Diaz Un moine ken ik ook niet.
1r:2

Die

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ll. Zondag was ik op de Louvre, (zondags ga ik nog al eens daarheen, of naar de Luxembourg), ik wilde gij de v. Ostade eens
zaagt, zijne eigene familie, hijzelf, zijne vrouw & ik geloof 8 kinderen, allen in t zwart, de vrouw & meisjes met witte mutsen &
halsdoeken in eene deftige oudHollandsche kamer met grooten haard, eikenhouten beschotten & zolder & gewitte muren met
schilderijen in zwarte lijsten. In den hoek van de kamer een groot bed met blauwe gordijnen & deken.
Emmausgangers waarover ik U schreef

is gegraveerd,

Messrs

G&Co

wel eens bij Borchers aan huis, zijne moeder is dunkt mij eene deftige vrouw.

De Rembrandt

zullen de gravure in t najaar uitgeven. Komt gij


10

Ga maar wat dikwijls uit, als gij kunt, ik

bedoel natuurlijk bij Carolien v. Stockum, Carbentus, Haanebeek, Borchers &c.; niet bij Kraft

11

of Marda hoor!

12

of t

moet zijn omdat ge niet anders kunt, dan kan t voor een enkele keer ook al geen kwaad.
Hoe is het in de zaak, ik weet er alles van hoe dat soms zijn kan, maar doe toch maar wat uwe hand vindt om te doen.
En heb het zoo goed mogelijk & schrijf weer eens spoedig. Steeds

13

Uw liefh. broeder
Vincent
Hierbij een briefje voor Borchers. Groeten aan allen bij Roos & aan elk die naar mij vraagt. B.
gestorven is,

15

14

zegt mij dat Weehuizen

dat wist ik niet, zijt gij daar bij geweest.

TRANSLATION
1r:1
[Letterhead: Goupil Paris]
Paris, 2 Sept. 1875
My dear Theo,
This morning I heard from Pa and from you the news of Uncle Jans death.

Such things make us say, O Lord, join us

intimately to one another and let our love for Thee make that bond ever stronger
commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

and Fear God, and keep his

In the first crate of paintings going to Holland youll find a few lithographs and that engraving after Rembrandt. 4 The two
lithographs after Bonington will no doubt be to your liking. At the same time Im sending a couple of photos for Pa of pictures
by Jules Breton and Corot; Ill write for Helvoirt on the back.
Ive never heard of the painter Pynas you write about; Im eager to see the painting in question.
lithograph after Diaz, A monk.

Nor do I know that

1r:2

Last Sunday I was in the Louvre (on Sunday I often go either there or to the Luxembourg); I wish you could see the Van
Ostade, his own family, himself, his wife and, I believe, 8 children, all in black, the wife and girls with white caps and
neckerchiefs in a stately old Dutch room with a large fireplace, oak wainscoting and ceiling and whitewashed walls with
paintings in black frames. In the corner of the room a large bed with blue curtains and blanket.
Emmaus, of which I wrote,

has been engraved,

Rembrandts Supper at

Messrs G&Co. will publish the engraving in the autumn. Do you ever

visit Borchers? It seems to me that his mother is a distinguished lady.

10

Go out often, if you can, I mean of course to visit

Caroline van Stockum, the Carbentuses, Haanebeeks, Borchers &c.; not to Krafts 11 or Mardas,
would have to be because you couldnt do otherwise, just once or twice can do no harm.

12

you understand! Or it

How are things at the gallery? I know all about how it can be sometimes, but anyway, do whatever your hand finds to do.

13

And I wish you the very best, and write again soon. Ever,

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Your loving brother


Vincent
Herewith a note for Borchers. Regards to everyone at the Rooses and to all who ask after me. B.
died,

15

14

tells me that Weehuizen

I didnt know, were you there?

NOTES
1. Jan Carbentus, a brother of Mrs van Gogh, had died on 30 August in Haarlem (FR b2357).
2. A prayer written and often recited in the family circle by Mr van Gogh; see letter 113. Van Gogh quoted this text a number of
times: see letters 89, 92, 98, 102, 103, 104, 114 and 411.
3. Eccl. 12:13.
4. Reading the Bible , which he promised to send in letter 40.
5. Theo had probably seen the panel, acquired in 1874 by the Mauritshuis in The Hague, of Christ on the Cross (Mary and John
at the Cross) by Jan Symonsz. Pynas; it was exhibited in 1875 (now Amsterdam, Rembrandthuis). Ill. 1732 . See Muse Royal
de la Haye (Mauritshuis). Catalogue raisonn des tableaux et des sculptures. The Hague 1895, pp. 297-298, cat. no. 131 (265)
and cat. The Hague 1993, p. 117, inv. no. 131.
6. The lithograph Le moine (The monk) by Jules Joseph Augustin Laurens was made after Narcisse Virgile Diazs sketch The
monk, also called Claude Frollo and Esmeralda (Montpellier, Muse Fabre). The depiction is based on Victor Hugo,
Notre-Dame de Paris, book 8, chapter 4 Lasciate ogni speranza. Laurenss lithograph is part of the collection Galerie Bruyas
(no. 11). (Paris, BNF, Cabinet des Estampes). Ill. 1733 . Cf. Marilyn Ruth Brown, The image of the bohmien from Diaz to
Manet and Van Gogh. Diss. Yale University 1978, pp. 280-281.
7. Adriaen van Ostade, Family portrait, formerly known as The painters family, 1654 (Paris, Muse du Louvre). Ill. 1734 .
8. Regarding The pilgrims at Emmaus by Rembrandt, see letter 34.
9. Rembrandt, Les plerins dEmmas (The pilgrims at Emmaus), engraving from 1875 by Amade and Eugne Varin
(Bordeaux, Muse Goupil). Ill. 1735 . Below the engraving appears the text in French of Luke 24:30-31.
10. Egbert Rubertus Borchers had registered as a resident of The Hague on 8 June 1872, declaring himself to be a civil servant
and giving his former city of residence as Amsterdam. In The Hague he first lived at Beestenmarkt 32, later, among other
places, at Van Limburg Stirumstraat 81, Trompstraat 120 and Jacob van der Doesstraat 57 (later no. 62); the dates of these
moves are not recorded. Borchers mother, Haika Borchers-Middel, and his sister, Boukje, were registered as living with him at
Jacob van der Doesstraat 57 (GAH).
11. Van Gogh was probably referring to the establishment of the publican Johannes Willem Frederik Kraft at (Kleine)
Bagijnestraat 3 (GAH, Adresboeken 1881-1882). In the nineteenth century, Bagijnestraat had a somewhat suspect reputation,
being referred to in popular parlance as Bagijnejacht or the Jacht (the hunt), which might explain Vincents word of caution.
In the nineteenth century, a visit to a prostitute was considered therapeutic in cases of melancholy; see Mathijsen 2002, p. 62
and cf. Nop Maas, Seks!... in de negentiende eeuw. Nijmegen 2006, p. 89.
12. Jeanette Geertruida Marda ran a tobacconists shop at Kneuterdijk 3 (GAH, Adresboeken 1871-1874).
13. Eccl. 9:10.
14. Borchers.

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15. The public servant Johannes Wilhelmus Weehuizen, with whom Theo had previously been in contact, had died on 4 March
1875 in The Hague.

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