Vincent van Gogh, letter to Émile Bernard, Arles, 12 April 1888, Letter 3, page 1
Thaw Collection, given in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007
My dear old Bernard,
Thanks for your kind letter and the sketch of your decoration included with it, which I find really
amusing. I sometimes regret that I can't decide to work more at home and from the imagination.
Certainly—imagination is a capacity that must be developed, and only that enables us to create a
more exalting and consoling nature than what just a glance at reality (which we perceive changing,
passing quickly like lightning) allows us to perceive.
A starry sky, for example, well—it's a thing that I should like to try to do, just as in the daytime
I'll try to paint a green meadow studded with dandelions.
But how to arrive at that unless I decide to work at home and from the imagination? This,
then, to criticize myself and to praise you.
At present I am busy with the fruit trees in blossom: pink peach trees, yellow-white pear trees.
© 2007 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam