Van Gogh's Missing Letter

Written by Auntie Matter

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

image for Van Gogh's Missing Letter
Van Gogh's letter that was never posted

In a hen hut in Arles Southern France has been found a missing letter signed Vincent Van Gogh. It was never posted to his brother but it makes for enlightening reading. Here are a several extracts to be published tomorrow exclusively by the famous art periodical Conn-Fusion published by Bloomsbury and edited by Christopher Little.

"Dear Theo,
First of all, thanks for the paints and canvases and the pair of slippers. Not to mention the tobacco, pygamas, the "Teach Yourself to Draw" book and the manual on house building. Since I last wrote, my difficulties have become compounded.....

I should never ever have asked that monster Paul Gauguin under my roof. He does no work, just sits and drinks cognac all day long and at night goes out to the brothels, alone. If he speaks at all it is to ask me what I am doing or thinking so that he can steal all my ideas.....

I have nothing left Theo. He has the lot; and one day I am sure he will get fame and glory for all the ideas and innovations that come from me and do not belong to him. The entire fruits of my life-time's reflections and studying on life and art are now his. I should never have told him, but what choice did I have? I wanted him to help me found a new school of painting in the Midi, to help me realise my vision of a new freedom in art. It is a cruel world. He is driving me mad Theo....

Last night he came home drunk as usual and almost tore the front door from it hinges, shouting and swearing because he could not find the latch. I protested and he threatened to cut my ears off so that he could present them to his favourite whore the way a matador would present the ears of a slain bull to his girlfriend....

I stay in my bedroom most of the time and dare not leave it. I barricade myself in and sleep with a pillow over my head so that I do not have to listen to Gauguin and his friends carousing and singing downstairs. The police have been called several times so far and now none of my neighbours speak to me any more. Their kids throw stones at me in the street....

I have done sixteen paintings of my bedroom so far and just as many of my boots and my chair as there is nothing much else there to paint. Anything but go down to the front room and have him ask me more questions about what I am painting and how! In the morning I am up at dawn tip-toeing downstairs so that I can make my way to the fields without being noticed. I am writing to tell you that I have explained all this to Dr. Gachet, and tomorrow will be moving into the insane asylum where I am sure to find better company. Left to do some housework, feed himself and pay his way I do not expect the bastard to be around when I get out."

Unfortunately, Vincent decided to tough it out with Gauguin and finally in desperation ordered him from his house. Gauguin, we may conclude, lounged at him with a razor. The rest is history.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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