A letter co-written by Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh and French painter Paul Gauguin sold yesterday at auction in Paris for $236,000.
The letter, which mentions how they wanted to revive modern art and set up an “association of painters,” was signed by both painters.
It is addressed from Arles to their painter friend Emile Bernard and dated November 1/2, 1888, less than two years before Van Gogh died at the age of 37.
Gauguin arrived in Arles, where Van Gogh was living, on October 23, 1888 and the two spent several stormy months painting together.
It was during the fateful visit that Van Gogh lost his ear, presenting it to a brothel maid.
The incident effectively ended his often strained relationship with Gauguin.
In the letter sold by Aristophil Collections at the Drouot auction rooms in Paris, both men insisted that art was surging towards what Van Gogh called “an immense renaissance.”
“Gauguin interests me a lot as a man,” Van Gogh says in the letter.
“It has long seemed to me that in our dirty profession of painter, we have the greatest need for people with workers’ hands and stomachs, with more natural tastes, more loving and more charitable temperaments than the decadent and exhausted Parisian boulevardier.”
Van Gogh yields the pen on the last page to Gauguin who would have a successful sale of paintings at Drouot in 1891