Lot 562: ALS in French, signed "C. Pissarro," one page both sides, 5.5 x 8.5, pencil date notation of February 19, 1888. Letter to his wife Julie, in full (translated): "Yesterday at your aunt's home I read your letters where you say Paulo is still ill, with glands on his neck. I am really sorry that you didn't write earlier describing these symptoms in more detail, I would have seen Dr. Leon. Anyway, I have written him immediately and asked him to send you the medicine. Don't you think his glands come mostly from his skin disease? You will get a letter from the doctor. If you need any more medicine, please let me know. The aunt has received the package and Georges ate so many rillettes that he won't have any for some time. I told the aunt to eat some and keep the rest. Lucien is out of work although Van Gogh is trying to get a newspaper belonging to Goupil to order him some illustrations, but this is quite doubtful. As for Georges, he is making some progress but his boss is unbearable and imposes a heavy burden on him. He is sometimes totally exhausted and it had been agreed that he would only deliver letters. I have not complained yet but I will, eventually.
Do write to tell me if I shall give 100 francs to Amelie or to the aunt. I hope I'll make better sales these days, but I do not dare to expect much as the buyers have been so reticent. All compliments from all the family, and Lucien and Georges. Lucien has made a really good drawing and he will submit it to the Courrier Francais. I have given you in my letters all the news about him that you have requested in your letters: he's been working hard but is also doing other things. See you soon, do write to tell me when you receive the 300 francs, half of the sum that I have received from Van Gogh." In fine condition, with central vertical and horizontal folds, trivial foxing, and one rough edge.
While his reputation is understandably overshadowed by his brother Vincent's career, art dealer Theo van Gogh made major contributions to the art world through his position with the famed Goupil & Cie, especially in expanding the audience for Impressionism. While Pissarro's works proved difficult to sell, van Gogh continued to push them, showing a few of his latest works in the fall of 1888 and arranging an entire exhibition of his work two years later. Also of special interest in this letter are the references to Pissarro's sons' artwork; a masterful painter and printmaker, Lucien enjoyed a successful career spanning nearly six decades, while Georges made his mark on the decorative arts world, earning great respect for his textiles, furniture, and glassware. A fantastic letter rife with both personal and artistic associations.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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