Filtering: Tagged with postman
Yesterday Roulin left. It was touching to see him with his children on the last day, above all with the very little one when he made her laugh and bounce on his knees and sang for her. His voice had a strangely pure, moved timbre which to my ear contained a sweet, distressed wet-nurse’s song and something like a distant echo of the clarion of revolutionary France. He wasn’t sad, though, on the contrary, he had put on his brand-new uniform, which he’d received the same day, and everyone was making much of him.
And just as worries don’t come singly, nor do joys, either. Because actually, always bowed down under this money problem with lodging-house keepers, I put up with it cheerfully. I’d given a piece of my mind to the said lodging-house keeper, who isn’t a bad man after all, and I’d told him that to get my own back on him for having paid him so much money for nothing, I’d paint his whole filthy old place as a way of getting my money back. Well, to the great delight of the lodging-house keeper, the postman whom I’ve already painted, the prowling night-visitors and myself, for 3 nights I stayed up to paint, going to bed during the day. It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day. Now as for recovering the money paid to the landlord through my painting, I’m not making a point of it, because the painting is one of the ugliest I’ve done. It’s the equivalent, though different, of the potato eaters.
Croquis of a square no. 30 canvas showing the house and its surroundings under a sulphur sun, under a pure cobalt sky. That’s a really difficult subject! But I want to conquer it for that very reason. Because it’s tremendous, these yellow houses in the sunlight and then the incomparable freshness of the blue. All the ground’s yellow, too. I’ll send you another, better drawing of it than this croquis from memory; the house to the left is pink, with green shutters; the one that’s shaded by a tree, that’s the restaurant where I go to eat supper every day. My friend the postman lives at the bottom of the street on the left, between the two railway bridges. The night café that I painted isn’t in the painting; it’s to the left of the restaurant.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to paint the postman as I feel him; as a revolutionary this man is like père Tanguy, he’s probably considered a good republican because he heartily detests the republic we currently enjoy, and because, in short, he’s a little dubious and a little disillusioned with the republican idea itself. But one day I saw him singing the Marseillaise — and I thought I was seeing ’89, not next year, but the one 99 years ago. It was something out of Delacroix, out of Daumier, out of the old Dutch painting entirely. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get that in a pose, and yet you need an intelligent model to be able to do the painting.
Now yesterday I worked at furnishing the house. Just as the postman and his wife told me, the two beds, if you want something sturdy, will come to 150 francs each. I found that everything they’d told me about prices was true. As a result I had to change tack, and this is what I did: I bought one bed in walnut and another in deal, which will be mine, and which I’ll paint later.