Letter 10/25/1883 - by Vincent van Gogh

Letter 10/25/1883 - by Vincent van Gogh
Courtesy of www.VincentVanGogh.org

Here are a couple of evening effects - I'm still working on that weed burner, whom I've caught better than before in a painted study as far as the tone is concerned, so that it conveys more of the vastness of the plain and the gathering dusk, and the small fire with the wisp of smoke is the only point of light. I kept going out to look at it in the evenings, and one muddy evening after the rain I found the little hut, which was very beautiful in its natural setting.

Again, I think that I'd be able to learn in Paris as well as here on the heath; in the city I'd have the opportunity to learn from other people and see what they were doing, and I'm by no means indifferent to that. For that matter, I think that I'd also make progress working here without seeing other painters. And for my pleasure, I would far rather stay here. However, if a change in your position were to make it desirable for me to come there, perhaps earn something in the same firm, that's all right with me and I have no objection whatsoever.

Don't hesitate to write to me about all these things, which I will, of course, keep entirely and absolutely to myself. If my affairs here were to improve a little - if, for example, I could count on C.M. taking my studies - well, seeing as it's cheaper here, the most advantageous would be if I were to stay here, and once I progressed a bit further, if you ever changed entirely and decided to become a painter, it would be excellent to learn here - excellent.

Has C.M. been yet? I repeat, keep your courage up, I'll do the same, and if you do ever decide to become a painter, do it with inner cheerfulness and as coolly as possible. Then, taking the broad view of things, you would have to see the time between now and your 30th year as a rather wretched period of pottering around, but at the end of it you would see everything renewed, and a broad future. Remember what you told me about the Swedish painters in Paris back then - one must be daring, and all the more so because one sees how everything is uncertain and shaky. Forlorn attempts - so be it - but in an age like the one we live in they are our duty, and one must often choose between that and sitting dozing. Well, old chap, all the best, write again soon, with a handshake.