Vincent van Gogh, letter to Émile Bernard, Arles, 3 October 1888, Letter 18, page 3
Thaw Collection, given in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007
and lastly a still life of old peasants' shoes. And a small
landscape of nothing at all, in which there's nothing but a bit of an expanse. Now, if these studies
aren't found pleasing, and if one or other preferred not to take part, all you have to do is keep those
that are wanted and return with the exchanges those that aren't wanted. We're in no hurry, and in
exchanges it's better on both sides to try to give something good.
If it's dry enough to be rolled up after being exposed to the sun tomorrow, I'll add a landscape
of men unloading sand, another project and attempt at a painting, in which there is a more fully
developed sense of purpose.
I cannot send a repetition of the night café yet because it hasn't even been started, but I'm very
willing to do it for you, but once again, it's better on both sides to try to exchange good things
than to do them too hastily.
The artistic gentleman who was in your letter, who resembles me—is that me or somebody else?
He certainly looks like me as far as the face is concerned, but in the first place I'm always smoking
a pipe, and then, having vertigo, I have an unspeakable horror of sitting like that on sheer crags
beside the sea. So if that's meant to be my portrait, I protest against the above-mentioned improbabilities.
© 2007 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam