Vincent van Gogh, letter to Émile Bernard, Arles, 19 April 1888, Letter 4, page 4
Thaw Collection, given in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007
(Continued from page 3)
I really intend to go and do seascapes, too, in Marseille, and I don't pine here for the gray sea
of the north. If you see Gauguin, greet him warmly for me; I must write to him in a moment.
My dear old Bernard, don't despair and above all, don't be downhearted, my good fellow,
because with your talent and your stay in Algeria, you'll be a hell of a good artist. True—you'll be
a southerner, too. If I have a piece of advice to give you, it's to build yourself up by eating healthy
and simple things for a year beforehand, yes. Starting now. Because it's better not to come here with
a ruined stomach or spoiled blood. That was the case with me, and although I'm recovering, I'm
recovering slowly, and I regret not having been a little more prudent beforehand. But who can do
anything in a bloody winter like this one, because it was a preternatural winter. So see that your
blood's good beforehand; with the bad food here it's difficult to regain that, but once you're
healthy it's less difficult to stay that way than in Paris.
Write to me soon, still same address, Restaurant Carrel, Arles. Handshake.
© 2007 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam