Vincent van Gogh suicide note

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Vincent van Gogh suicide note  (1890) 
by Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was an influential artist during the nineteenth century. Widely believed to have been struggling with depression and insanity, he went out to a nearby field and shot himself in the chest, before stumbling back to his house where his brother Theo cared for him for two days, before he finally died. Although he had sent a letter to Theo only three days earlier, he was carrying another letter to his brother on his person at the time of his suicide, largely seen as a suicide note.

My dear brother,

Thanks for your kind letter and for the 50-fr. note in contained.

There are many things I should like to write you about, but I feel it useless. I hope you have found those worthy gentlemen favorably disposed toward you.

Your reassuring me as to the peacefulness of your household was hardly worth the trouble, I think, having seen the weal and woe of it for myself. And I quite agree with you that rearing a boy on a fourth floor is a hell of a job for you as well as for Jo.

Since the thing that matters most is going well, why should I say more about things of less importance? My word, before we have a chance to talk business more collectedly, we shall probably have a long way to go.

The other painters, whatever they think, instinctively keep themselves at a distance from discussions about the actual trade.

Well, the truth is, we can only make our pictures speak. But yet, my dear brother, there is this that I have always told you, and I repeat it once more with all the earnestness that can be expressed by the effort of a mind diligently fixed on trying to do as well as possible - I tell you again that I shall always consider you to be something more than a simple dealer in Corots, that through my mediation you have your part in the actual production of some canvases, which will retain their calm even in the catastrophe.

For this is what we have got to, and this is all or at least the main thing I can have to tell you at a moment of comparative crisis. At a moment when things are very strained between dealers in pictures of dead artists, and living artists.

Well, my own work, I am risking my life for it and my reason has half foundered because of it--that's all right--but you are not among the dealers in men as far as I know, and you can still choose your side, I think, acting with humanity, but que veux-tu?

 This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


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