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040 To Theo van Gogh. Paris, Friday, 13 August 1875.

METADATA
No. 040 (Brieven 1990 040, Complete Letters 33)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Paris, Friday, 13 August 1875
Source status
Original manuscript
Location
Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b42 V/1962
Date
Letter headed: [Paris, le] 13 Aot [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 13 Aot [187]5
Waarde Theo,
Reeds eerder heb ik U willen schrijven. Ik ben blij dat Pa het beroep naar Etten heeft aangenomen;
omstandigheden vind ik het ook goed dat Willemien met Anna meegaat.
wel bij U allen hebben willen zijn;
trof mij daar in het kerkje 3

schijen

bien de ceux qui aiment Dieu

geweest.

Ik zou dien Zondag dat gij te Helvoirt waart ook


4

Het

was ik in de kerk bij M. Mercier

& hoorde Hem over Toutes choses prouveront le

(in t Hollandsch staat er Hen die God liefhebben zullen alle dingen medewerken ten

goede) & over Il fit lhomme son image,


kerk gaan, al is het zoo heel mooi

in de gegeven

schreef ik U reeds ik dien dag, met Soek en zijne familie, te Ville dAvray was.

van Corot te vinden.

Zondag ll. & Zondag voor 14 dagen

t was schoon & groot. Gij moet als gij kunt ook maar iederen Zondag naar de

1r:2 niet; doe dat, gij zult er geen spijt van hebben, zijt gij wel eens bij Ds Zubli

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Op de lijst van wat ik op mijn kamer heb hangen heb ik nog vergeten:

N. Maes
Hamon
Ed. Frre
do
Francais
Ruyperez
Bosboom

La nativit 11
Si jtais lhiver sombre 12
Les couturires 13
Un tonnelier 14
Dernier beau jour 15
Limitation de Jesus Christ 16
Cantabimus & Psallemus 17
18

Ik doe mijn best om nog eene gravure Rembrandt, Lecture de la bible


eerste kist schijen. Heb ik u gezonden eene lith. Troyon, effet de matin?

19

voor U te vinden, mogelijk zend ik U die dus in de


Franais, derniers beaux jours?

schrijf mij dit dan; ik heb ze dubbel. En nu, heb het goed, doe wel & zie niet om,

21

20

Zoo niet

voorzoover het mogelijk is, & geloof mij

steeds
Uw liefh. broeder
Vincent
Groet s.v.p. de Hr & Mevr. Tersteeg & Mauve voor mij, ook groeten bij V. Stockum, Haanebeek, Tante Fie,
zegt gij van onze Anna?

22

Roos, &c. Wat

23

TRANSLATION
1r:1
[Letterhead: Goupil Paris]
Paris, 13 August 1875
My dear Theo,
I had wanted to write to you earlier. Im glad that Pa has accepted the call to Etten;
2

good that Willemien is going along with Anna.

under the circumstances I also think it

Id also have liked to be with all of you that Sunday at Helvoirt;

already told you that I was with Soek and his family at Ville-dAvray that day?
in the church there.

have I

I was surprised to find 3 paintings by Corot

On Sunday last and Sunday a fortnight ago


together for good to them that love God

and on He created man in his own image,

I went to Mr Merciers

church and heard him speak on all things work

(in Dutch it says for those who love God all things will work together for good)
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it was glorious and grand. You should also go to church every Sunday if you can,

even if it isnt so very beautiful; 1r:2 do that, you wont regret it. Have you ever been to hear the Rev. Zubli?
In the list of what I have hanging in my room I forgot:

N. Maes
Hamon
Ed. Frre
ditto
Franais
Ruiprez

The nativity 11
If I were sombre winter 12
The seamstresses 13
A cooper 14
Last fine day 15
The imitation of Jesus Christ

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Bosboom

Cantabimus and psallemus

17

Im doing my best to find another engraving of Rembrandt, Reading the Bible

18

the first crate of paintings. Have I sent you a lithograph of Troyon, Morning effect?

for you, perhaps Ill be sending it to you in


19

Franais, Last fine days?

write and tell me; I have two of each. And now, I wish you well, do right and dont look back,
believe me ever

21

20

If not,

as much as you can, and

Your loving brother


Vincent
Please give my regards to Mr and Mrs Tersteeg and Mauve, also my regards to the Van Stockums, Haanebeeks, Aunt Fie,
Rooses, &c. What do you think about our Anna?

22

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NOTES
1. After a visit on 29 July to Etten, a village in the west of the province of North Brabant, Mr van Gogh agreed to accept the
living there (FR b2351, 30 July 1875).
2. Because Etten was not the right place and offered too little for Vincents sister Willemien, it was decided that for the time
being she would spend three months with Anna at Welwyn (Hertfordshire), a village north of London, where Anna had been
teaching since the end of August 1874 (FR b2715). Willemien herself is pleased with the plan (quoted from FR b2351, written
by Mr and Mrs van Gogh to Theo). Anna and Willemien left for Welwyn together on Friday, 13 August (FR b2352).
3. On the weekend of 24 and 25 July, Theo had gone to visit his father at Helvoirt; Anna, Lies, Willemien and Cor were also
there (FR b2350 and b2351).
4. Frans Soek, a Goupil employee, worked at the place de lOpra branch. The village of Ville-dAvray is south-west of Paris,
between Svres and Versailles.
5. Around 1849 Corot presented the church at Ville-dAvray with the painting Saint Jerome (1837), and in 1855-1856 he had
painted four scenes on the walls of the transept: Adam and Eve being driven out of Paradise; The baptism of Christ; Christ on
the Mount of Olives and The Magdalen in the desert. Perhaps Van Gogh spoke only of three paintings because The baptism of
Christ is not signed. See Robaut 1965, vol. 2, pp. 130-131, no. 366; pp. 338-339, nos. 1074-1077 and Jean Rousseau, Camille
Corot. Paris 1884, pp. 55-61.
6. On both 8 August and 1 August.
7. Van Gogh is referring to Eugne Bersier, who was a minister in the LEtoile quarter, avenue de la Grande Arme (near the Arc
de Triomphe). His obituary appeared in the Bulletin Historique et Littraire 38 (1889), pp. 670-672; see also Recueil de
souvenirs de la vie dEugne Bersier. Paris (n.d.). Bersier was a well-known figure with a certain reputation, as evidenced by
several mentions of his name in the letters of Andries Bonger, such as Id never heard clarity coupled with so much eloquence
(FR b1583, 28 December 1879; also mentioned in b1581 and b1582). On 15 October 1878, Mrs van Gogh advised Theo to attend
one of Rev. Bersiers sermons (FR b2440).
8. Rom. 8:28.
9. Gen. 1:27; cf. also Gen. 9:6.
10. Everard Ambroise Zubli was the minister of the Walloon (French-speaking) congregation in The Hague. See Bulletin de la
Commission pour lHistoire des Eglises Wallonnes, vol. 1. The Hague 1887, pp. 199-200; F.H. Gagnebin, Liste des glises

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wallonnes des Pays-Bas et des pasteurs qui les ont desservies tablie daprs les actes originaux. Leiden 1888, p. 31.
11. The etching La crche (The crib) (also known as La nativit (The nativity) and as LAdoration des bergers (The adoration of
the shepherds)) by Dominique Vivant-Denon, after Nicolaes Maes, Adoration of the shepherds, 1658 (Montreal, The Montreal
Museum of Fine Arts). The print was exhibited at the 1795 Salon and was offered for sale in 1873 in the Catalogue des estampes
graves par ... Vivant Denon (Paris, BNF, Cabinet des Estampes). Ill. 1686 . See Fizelire 1873, no. 19.
12. Jean Louis Hamon, Si jtais lhiver sombre (If I were sombre winter), engraved by Leon Mariani (Paris, BNF, Cabinet des
Estampes). Ill. 1687 . The original work is part of the decorative painting The four seasons, 1850, by Henry Picou, Jean-Lon
Grme, Gustave Rodolphe Boulanger and Jean Louis Hamon (The Cleveland Museum of Art). Appearing below the print is a
verse from a song: Si jtais lhiver sombre, Que ferais-je, mon Dieu? A tes pauvres dans lombre, Jirais porter du feu... (If I
were sombre winter, My God, what would I do? To your poor in the shadow, I would bring some fire).
13. For The seamstresses by Edouard Frre, see letter 37, n. 20.
14. Regarding A cooper by Edouard Frre, cf. letter 37, n. 21.
15. Louis-Franois Franais made a print after his own Last fine days (Salon 1851); Derniers beaux jours appeared in Les
artistes anciens et modernes, vol. 3, no. 73 (Paris, BNF, Cabinet des Estampes). Ill. 1688 .
16. The lithograph La Imitacin de Jesucristo (The imitation of Jesus Christ) by Eugne Louis Pirodon after a painting by Luis
Ruiprez was published in LArtiste. Beaux-Arts et Belles-lettres. NS, vol. 10, 10th instalment (15 November 1860), between p.
232 and 233. Ill. 1689 . Cf. Carlos Reyero, Los orgenes del fortunysmo en Pars y la obra de Luis Ruiprez, Boletin del Museo e
Instituto Camn Aznar 40 (1990), pp. 5-20, esp. pp. 12-13 and ill. 6.
17. Let us sing hymns and psalms. A reproduction after Johannes Bosboom, A young monk playing the organ, before 1850.
Also known as Organ-playing Carmelite. Cantabimus et psallemus (Amsterdam, Amsterdams Historisch Museum). In
Kunstkronijk 11 (1850), Bosbooms lithograph Cantabimus et psallemus appeared after p. 66 (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum,
inv. no. p778 M/1973). Ill. 1690 . According to Bosbooms memoires, written in 1881, Hendrik Sluyter made an engraving of
this painting. See exhib. cat. The Hague 1917, p. 13.
18. Regarding Rembrandts Reading the Bible , see letter 37, n. 4.
19. If Van Gogh is not referring here to the lithograph Le matin (Morning) (see letter 37, n. 12, where he says he has two of
these), he could have meant a print after Troyons Oxen on their way to plough (Morning effect), 1855 (Paris, Muse dOrsay).
Ill. 1691 . A wood engraving made after this work by Guillaume appeared with the article Paul Mantz, Artistes contemporains.
Troyon, Gazette des Beaux-Arts 7 (1865), vol. 18, p. 399.
20. For Last fine days, see n. 15.
21. A saying which means that he who acts virtuously may have a clear conscience.
22. Sophia Cornelia Elisabeth Carbentus-Van Bemmel.
23. This remark probably alludes to Annas new prospects, since Mr and Mrs van Gogh had decided that she should stay in
England for another year, apparently after consulting the woman who employed her: Anna received such a very sweet letter
from Miss Applegarth, who offers very generous conditions because she values Anna (FR b2351, 30 July 1875).

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