Filtering: Tagged with gauguin
The mistake in pal Gauguin’s calculations was, in my opinion, that he’s a little too accustomed to closing his eyes to the inevitable expenses of house rental, charwoman and a whole heap of earthly things of that kind.
Gauguin works a lot – I very much like a still life with yellow background and foreground. He’s working on a portrait of me which I don’t count as one of his undertakings that don’t come to anything.
Gauguin has bought a chest of drawers for the house, various household utensils and 20 meters of very strong canvas, a whole lot of things we needed, which it was more convenient to have anyway.
I don’t yet know what Gauguin thinks about my decoration in general; I only know that there are some studies that he really does like, namely, the Sower, the Sunflowers, the Bedroom.
Here you have portraitists, living for so long side by side and they don’t agree on posing for each other and they’ll separate without having portrayed each other. Well! I’m not pressing the point.
Neither Gauguin nor Bernard has written to me again. I believe that Gauguin doesn’t give a damn, seeing that it isn’t happening right away, and for my part, seeing that Gauguin has been managing anyway for 6 months, I’m ceasing to believe in the urgent need to come to his assistance.
I’ve received a letter from Gauguin in which he talks about painting and complains about not yet having the money needed to come here — but nothing new or different.
I believe in the victory of Gauguin and other artists—but—between then and now there’s a long time, and even if he had the good fortune to sell one or two canvases—it would be the same story.
I’ve had a line from Gauguin, who complains about the bad weather, is still unwell and says nothing vexes him more than lack of money among the variety of human ills, and yet he feels doomed to be broke for ever.
Here – the so-called good town of Arles is a funny place which for good reasons friend Gauguin calls the filthiest place in the south.
Gauguin said to me this morning, when I asked him how he felt: ‘that he could feel his old self coming back’, which gave me great pleasure. As for me, coming here last winter, tired and almost fainting mentally, I too suffered a little inside before I was able to begin to remake myself.
Gauguin and I talk a lot about DelacroixRembrandt &c. The discussion is excessively electric. We sometimes emerge from it with tired minds, like an electric battery after it’s run down.
I myself think that Gauguin had become a little disheartened by the good town of Arles, by the little yellow house where we work, and above all by me. Indeed, there are bound to be grave difficulties still to overcome here, for him as well as for me. But these difficulties are rather within ourselves than elsewhere. All in all, I think personally that he’ll either definitely go or he’ll definitely stay. I told him to think and do his sums again before acting. Gauguin is very strong, very creative, but precisely because of that he must have peace. Will he find it elsewhere if he doesn’t find it here?
Gauguin gives me courage to imagine, and the things of the imagination do indeed take on a more mysterious character.
I’ve done two canvases of a leaf-fall, which Gauguin liked I think, and am now working on a vineyard, all purple and yellow. Then I have an Arlésienne at last, a figure (no. 30 canvas) knocked off in one hour, background pale lemon — the face grey — the clothing dark dark dark, just unmixed Prussian blue. She’s leaning on a green table and is sitting in a wooden armchair — coloured orange.
I did know that Gauguin had travelled, but I didn’t know he was a real seaman; he’s been through all the difficulties, he was a real topman on the topmast and a real sailor. That gives me a tremendous respect for him, and an even more absolute confidence in his personality. He has — if he’s to be compared with something — links with those Icelandic fishermen of Loti’s. I believe that it’ll make the same impression on you as on me.
For a time I had the slight feeling that I was going to be ill, but Gauguin’s arrival has so taken my mind off it that I’m sure it will pass. I mustn’t neglect my diet for a while, and that’s all. And absolutely all.
I’ve just received a letter from Bernard, who joined Gauguin, Laval and someone else at Pont-Aven several days ago. In this letter, which is very kind by the way, there isn’t, however, a syllable about whether Gauguin intends joining me, nor another syllable, moreover, asking me to go there. All the same, the letter was very friendly. From Gauguin himself, not a word for almost a month.
I personally believe that Gauguin prefers to manage with his friends in the north, and if by good luck he sells a painting, or several, he could have ideas other than those of joining me.
I believe that it would make an enormous difference to me if Gauguin was here, because the days pass now without saying a word to anyone. Ah, well. In any case, his letter gave me tremendous pleasure. Being too long alone in the country you become dull-witted, and not just yet—but this winter, I could become sterile from that. Now this danger will no longer exist if he comes, because we won’t be short of ideas.
What often makes me sad is that it’s more expensive than I’d calculated. And that I don’t manage to get by on the same expenses as those who have gone to Brittany, Bernard and Gauguin. Since I’m feeling better now I really don’t consider myself defeated, and besides, if I’d had my health, which I hope to get back here, that and many other things wouldn’t happen to me. The crate would have gone off already if I hadn’t had problems all day long.
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