Letter 10/07/1883 - by Vincent van Gogh

Letter 10/07/1883 - by Vincent van Gogh
Courtesy of www.VincentVanGogh.org

Here everything is so wholly what I consider beautiful. In other words, there is peace here.

There is something else I consider beautiful - that is the drama - but that is everywhere, and here they are not only Van Goyen effects. Yesterday I drew decayed oak roots, so-called bog oak (oak trees that may have been buried under the peat for a century and from which new peat has formed - when that is dug up this bog oak is exposed).

The roots lay in a pool, in black mud. Some black roots lay in the water in which they were reflected, some lay bleached on the black surface. A white path led past them, behind it was more peat, pitch black. And a stormy sky above it. That pool in the mud with those decayed roots, it was absolutely melancholy and dramatic, like Ruysdael or like Jules Dupre.

Here is a scribble from the peat area.

Often there are curious contrasts of black and white here. For instance, a canal with white sandy banks crossing a pitch-dark plain. You see it above, too; black figures against a white sky, and in the foreground again variations of black and white in the soil.

I believe I have found my patch here.

Coming events cast their shadows before, says an English proverb.