Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, c. May 4, 1888:
As for me, I shall carry on working, and here and there something of my work will prove of lasting value — but who will there be to achieve for figure painting what Claude Monet has achieved for landscape? However, you must feel, as I do, that someone like that is on the way — Rodin? — he doesn’t use colour — it won’t be him. But the painter of the future will be a colourist the like of which has never yet been seen.“A colourist the like of which has never yet been seen”: that sounds to me like Henri Matisse, who in 1888 had not yet begun to paint.
The Letters of Vincent van Gogh , ed. Ronald de Leeuw, trans. Arnold Pomerans (New York: Penguin, 1997).
Also from Van Gogh’s letters
“Admire as much as you can”
“It was a bright autumn day and a beautiful walk”
“Lately, during the dark days before Christmas”
“So you must picture me sitting at my attic window”
“At the moment, I can see a splendid effect”
“The ride into the village was beautiful”