The Railway Bridge over Avenue Montmajour

The Railway Bridge over Avenue Montmajour

"I was, and still am, almost knocked out by last week’s work. I still can’t do anything, but in any case there’s a very violent mistral, which raises clouds of dust that turns the trees on boulevard des Lices white from top to bottom. So I’m pretty well forced to take it easy."
Currently Located:
Painting Date
14th of October 1888
Detailed Image Links
“…And then two more no. 30 canvases, the Trinquetaille bridge and another bridge; the railway goes over the road.  That canvas is a little like a Bosboom in coloration.
Lastly, the Trinquetaille bridge with all its steps is a canvas done on a grey morning, the stones, the asphalt, the cobblestones are grey, the sky a pale blue, the small figures colourful, a puny tree with yellow foliage. Two canvases, then, in grey, broken tones, and two highly coloured canvases.
Forgive these very poor croquis.
I’m knocked out from painting this Tarascon diligence, and I can see that I haven’t a head fit for drawing. I’m off to have supper, and I’ll write to you again this evening.  But this decoration is coming along a bit, and I believe that it will broaden my way of seeing and doing things.  It will be open to a thousand criticisms; very well, but never mind, as long as I manage to put some spirit into it.  But yes, good old Tartarin’s country, I’m enjoying myself there more and more, and it will become like a new homeland for us. I don’t forget Holland, though; it’s precisely the contrasts that make me think of it a lot. I’ll get back to this letter shortly.
Now I’m getting back to this letter again. How I’d like to be able to show you the work that’s in progress!  I’m really so tired that I can see that my writing isn’t up to much.  I’ll write to you better another time, because it’s beginning to take shape now, this idea of the decoration.
I wrote to Gauguin again the day before yesterday, to say once again that he would probably recover much more quickly here.  And he’ll do such fine things here.
He’ll need time to recover. I assure you that I believe that if ideas for work are coming to me more clearly and more abundantly at present, then eating good food has a lot to do with it. And that’s what everybody in painting should have.
How many things that still have to change! Isn’t it true that all painters ought to live like manual workers? A carpenter, a blacksmith, normally produces infinitely more than they do. In painting too, there should be large studios where each person would work more steadily.
I’m really falling asleep standing up, and I can’t see any longer, my eyes are so tired.  More soon, because I still had lots of things to say, and I should make you some better croquis. Probable that I’ll do it tomorrow.
Thank you many times again for your money order. I shake your hand firmly.
Ever yours,
It’s 5 canvases that I’ve started on this week; that brings, I believe, to 15 the number of these no. 30 canvases for the decoration.

To Theo. Arles, Saturday, 13 October 1888.



Painting, Oil on Canvas – 71 x 91 cm size 30 Figure
Arles: October 13, 1888
Private collection
F: 480, JH: 1603



Where Vincent Was:

Start Discussion

Leave your email address and Vincent will write you with a painting and his thoughts...

(Don’t worry, Vincent is busy painting and doesn’t send more than one a week!)

You have Successfully Subscribed!