Letters 0001

Letter 0001: From Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh

The Hague, 29 September 1872

Dear Theo,
Thanks for your letter, I was pleased that you arrived back safely. I have missed you the first few days since you have left and it was strange to me to not find you here this afternoon.
We had some nice days together, and between the drops of rain were still able to hike and
see some things .
What dreadful weather, you must worry on your walks to Oisterwijk. Yesterday there was harness racing for the occasion of the exhibition, but the illuminations and fireworks were put off, because of the bad weather, so it is a good thing you have not stayed to see them. Greetings from the Haanebeeks and the Rooses.
Your loving Vincent

From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: 29 September 1872
Place: The Hague
Letter 0001
Translation © vangoghonline.com

Letters home
Autumn of 1872 was a blustery season with strong winds and thunderstorms, which led Vincent to wonder how Theo might be faring on his six kilometer walk to school in Oisterwijk. At the time of this letter Vincent was 19 years old, Theo 15. A few short years later Theo would provide much support for Vincent, but at this time Vincent was the older brother and surely protective of his younger sibling. Vincent indicates that Theo considered staying longer in The Hague to view the fireworks planned as part of an agricultural exposition. The weather was bad enough to postpone these fireworks several times, this being noted in the local news.

Illuminations simply means what it sounds like, lighting the town or main street area for a festival or holiday. Remember that the world in 1872 had much less public lighting than we are accustomed to so, illuminating the town was something special.

The Haanebeeks were distant relations of the van Gogh family, and the Rooses were a couple who lived in The Hague that Vincent boarded with.