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Wednesday Nov 05, 2008

Adieu, with a Handshake

Here is an excerpt from a letter dated September 17, 1882—from 29-year old Vincent van Gogh to his younger brother Theo, an art dealer. Vincent was lucid in both his art and writing. His many letters (a good deal of them to his brother) portray a young man in touch with his circumstances.

Am rather short of colours and other things, but you know how it is—I can vary my work in different ways, and there are always so many things to draw. For the group of figures in the enclosed sketch varies infinitely and requires innumerable separate studies and sketches of each figure, which one must catch quickly in the street. In this way it gradually gets character and vigour.

Recently I made a study of ladies and gentlemen on the beach, a hustling crowd of people. Sooner or later, after some more study, I should love to do drawings for illustrations. Perhaps one thing will result from the other. The main thing is to continue working.

I certainly hope you are well, and that you will write me about yourself and the things which strike you in your surroundings. Adieu, with a handshake.

Yours sincerely,