Letter 1, page 2

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Vincent van Gogh, letter to Émile Bernard,Paris, ca. December 1887, Letter 1, page 2

Pen and blue ink on one vertically folded sheet of cream, machine-made laid paper

Thaw Collection, given in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007

MA 6441.1

And that one finds oneself obliged to learn to live, as one does to paint, without resorting to the old
tricks and trompe l'oeil of schemers.

I don't think your portrait of yourself will be your last, or your best—although all in all it is
frightfully you.

Look here—briefly, what I was trying to explain to you the other day comes down to this.
In order to avoid generalities, let me take an example from life.

If you've fallen out with a painter, with Signac, for example, and if as a result you say:
I'll withdraw my canvases if Signac exhibits where I exhibit—and if you run him down, then it
seems to me that you are not behaving as well as you could.

Because it's better to take a long look at it before judging so categorically and to reflect,
reflection making us see in ourselves, when there's a falling out, as many faults on our own side
as in our adversary, and in him as many justifications as we might

© 2007 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam