Thursday, March 17, 2016

From a Van Gogh letter

Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, July 23, 1882:

So you must picture me sitting at my attic window as early as 4 o’clock in the morning, studying the meadows & the carpenter’s yard with my perspective frame just as they’re lighting the fires to make coffee in the yard and the first worker comes strolling in. A flock of white pigeons comes soaring over the red tile roofs between the smoking black chimney stacks. Beyond it all lies an infinity of delicate, soft green, miles & miles of flat meadow, and a grey sky, as calm, as peaceful as Corot or Van Goyen.

That view over the ridges of the roofs & the gutters with grass growing in them, very early in the morning, & those first signs of life & awakening — the flying bird, the smoking chimney, the small figure strolling along far below — that is the subject of my watercolour. I hope you will like it.

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”

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