My dear brother,
Thanks for your letter of today and for the 50-franc note it contained. I’d perhaps like to write to you about many things, but first the desire has passed to such a degree, then I sense the pointlessness of it. I hope that you’ll have found those gentlemen favourably disposed towards you. As regards the state of peace in your household, I’m just as convinced of the possibility of preserving it as of the storms that threaten it. I prefer not to forget the little French I know, and certainly wouldn’t see the point of delving deeper into the rights or wrongs in any discussions on one side or the other. It’s just that this wouldn’t interest me. Things go quickly here – aren’t Dries, you and I a little more convinced of that, don’t we feel it a little more than those ladies? So much the better for them – but anyway, talking with rested minds, we can’t even count on that. As for myself, I’m applying myself to my canvases with all my attention, I’m trying to do as well as certain painters whom I’ve liked and admired a great deal. What seems to me on my return – is that the painters themselves are increasingly at bay. Very well. But has the moment to make them understand the utility of a union not rather passed already? On the other hand a union, if it were formed, would go under if the rest went under. Then you’d perhaps tell me that dealers would unite for the Impressionists; that would be very fleeting.
Anyway it seems to me that personal initiative remains ineffective, and having done the experiment, would one begin it again? I noted with pleasure that the Gauguin from Brittany that I saw was very beautiful, and it seems to me that the others he’s done there must be too. Perhaps you’ll see this croquis of Daubigny’s garden – it’s one of my most deliberate canvases – to it I’m adding a croquis of old thatched roofs and the croquis of 2 no. 30 canvases depicting immense stretches of wheat after the rain. Hirschig asked me to ask you please to order the attached list of colours for him10 from the same 1v:3 colourman you send me. Tasset can send them directly to him, cash on delivery, but then he would have to be given the 20%. Which would be simplest. Or you’d put them into the consignment of colours for me, adding the invoice or telling me how much they cost, and then he’d send you the money. Here one can’t find anything good in the way of colours. I’ve simplified my own order to a very bare minimum. Hirschig is beginning to understand a little, it has seemed to me, he’s done the portrait of the old schoolmaster, which he gave him, good – and then he has landscape studies which are a little like the Konings at your place as regards colour. It will become completely like that, perhaps, or like the things by Voerman that we saw together. More soon. Look after yourself, and good luck in business &c. Warm regards to Jo, and handshakes in thought.