Vincent van Gogh, letter to Émile Bernard, Arles, 3 October 1888, Letter 18, page 2
Thaw Collection, given in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007
(Continued from page 1)
be sure to tell your
father that with a little more money you would make much better paintings.
The idea of making a kind of freemasonry of painters does not please me hugely; I deeply
despise rules, institutions, etc. In short, I'm looking for something other than dogmas, which, very
far from settling things, only cause endless disputes.
It's a sign of decadence. Now, as a union of painters exists so far only in the form of a vague
but very broad sketch, then let's calmly allow what must happen to happen.
It will be better if it crystallizes naturally; the more one talks about it, the less it comes about.
If you wish to support it, you have only to continue with Gauguin and me. It's in progress, let's not
talk any more; if it must come it will come about without big negotiations but through calm and
As regards the exchanges, it's precisely because I have often had occasion to hear mention in
your letters of Laval, Moret and the other young man, that I have a great desire to get to know
them. But—I don't have five dry studies—will have to add at least two slightly more serious
attempts at paintings, a portrait of myself and a landscape angry with a nasty mistral.
Then I would have a study of a little garden of multicolored flowers.
A study of gray and dusty thistles,
© 2007 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam