Vincent van Gogh, letter to Émile Bernard, Arles, ca. 22 May 1888, Letter 5, page 2
Thaw Collection, given in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007
Ah, you do darned well to think of Gauguin—they're high poetry, his negresses—and everything
his hand makes has a sweet, heartrending, astonishing character. People don't understand him yet,
and he suffers greatly from not selling, like other true poets.
My dear pal, I would have written to you sooner, only have had quite a few things on my hands;
I've sent a first batch of studies to my brother is one, I've had trouble with my health is two, and
three is that I've rented a house painted yellow outside, whitewashed inside, in the full sun
With all that, new studies in progress. And in the evening I was often too numbed to write.
That's why my reply was delayed.
Listen, the sonnet about the women of the boulevard has some good things, but it isn't there
yet—the end's banal.
A "sublime" woman, I don't know what you mean by that, nor do you in this case.
"Hunting among the clan of old and young
Those whom she'll take to bed late at night."
Something like that—It's not characteristic, because
© 2007 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam