Vincent van Gogh, letter to Émile Bernard, Arles, 3 October 1888, Letter 18, page 4
Thaw Collection, given in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007
The decoration of the house absorbs me terribly. I dare to believe that it would be quite
to your liking, although it's very different from what you do, of course. But just as you spoke to me
in the past about paintings that would depict, one flowers, the other trees, the other fields.
Well, I have the Poet's Garden (2 canvases); (among the sketches you have the first idea for it,
after a smaller painted study that's already at my brother's).
Then The Starry Night, then The Vineyard, then The Furrows, then the view of the house
could be called The Street, so unintentionally there's a certain sequence.
Well, I'll be very very curious to see studies of Pont-Aven. But for yourself, give me something
fairly worked up. It will work out, anyway, because I like your talent so much that I'd be very
pleased to make a small collection of your works, bit by bit.
For a long time I have been touched by the fact that Japanese artists very often made exchanges
among themselves. It clearly proves that they liked one another and stuck together, and that there
was a certain harmony among them and that they did indeed live in a kind of brotherly life, in a
natural way and not in the midst of intrigues. The more we resemble them in that respect, the better
it will be for us. It seems also that those Japanese earned very little money and lived like simple
laborers. I have the reproduction (Bing publication) of a Japanese drawing: a single blade of
grass. What an example of awareness—you'll see it one day. I shake your hand firmly.
© 2007 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam