Vincent van Gogh, letter to Émile Bernard, Arles, ca. 22 May 1888, Letter 5, page 4
Thaw Collection, given in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr., 2007
Then a view of Arles—of the town you see only a few red roofs and a tower, the rest's hidden by
the foliage of fig trees, etc.
All that far off in the background and a narrow strip of blue sky above. The town is surrounded
by vast meadows decked with innumerable buttercups—a yellow sea. These meadows are intersected
in the foreground by a ditch full of purple irises. They cut the grass while I was painting, so it's only
a study and not a finished painting, which I intended to make of it. But what a subject—eh—that
sea of yellow flowers with a line of purple irises and in the background the neat little town of pretty
women. Then two studies of roadsides—afterwards—done out in the mistral.
If you were not expecting my reply right away, I'd make sketches. Courage, good luck, handshake.
I'm worn out this evening.
I'll write to you again one of these days, more at my ease.
P.S. The sketch of the woman in the last letter but one is really pretty.
Place Lamartine 2
© 2007 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam