Unknown Drawings and Paintings by Van Gogh

Unknown drawings and paintings mentioned by Vincent in his letters.

There are dozens of unaccounted drawings and paintings by Van Gogh, just as many were omitted from his correspondence with Theo.

I recently made a drawing, Mealtime, a worker drinking a cup of coffee and cutting a slice of bread. On the ground a spade he’s brought in from the field.

Today I sent you 1 drawing of Kitchen gardens in Laan van Meerdervoort.

It shows pinks on the beach, big hulls of boats lying in the hot sand with the sea very far off in a blue mist or haze, for it was a day with sun, but it’s with the light behind, not into it, so that you have to feel the sun through a few short cast shadows and the shimmering of the warm air above the sand.

I also have a small seascape, and pieces of dune ground, a row of pollard willows, a potato field and so on. (The ‘row of pollard willows’ and ‘potato field’ are unknown)

Last Saturday evening I tackled something I’ve already dreamed of often. It’s a view in the flat green meadows with haystacks. A cinder road with a ditch runs straight through it. And the sun goes down fiery red on the horizon in the middle of the painting.

Well, since I bought my paint and materials, I have toiled and labored, so that at the moment I’m dead tired, having done 7 painted studies. There’s also one with a figure (unknown), a mother with a child in the shadow of a big tree, in tone against a dune on which the summer sun is shining.

I’ve been to Scheveningen many times to see it. And came back with two small seascapes. There’s already a lot of sand in the one, but with the second, when there really was a storm and the sea came very close to the dunes, I had to scrape everything off twice because of the thick layer of sand completely covering it.

Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather
Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather

I’m working on a watercolor of the one with the herds of orphans with their spiritual shepherds.

you remember that not long ago I wrote when I sent you a small scratch of a potato market: ‘I must have another go at tackling that bustle on the street’. The result is now some 12 watercolors that I’m working on at the moment. (The potato market is unknown)

The figures are drawn from extensive studies. I would very much like them to be reproduced. The first is on grey paper, the other on yellow. (The yellow paper drawing was of a team of workmen laboring, and is unknown)

My Scheveningen cape is a splendid possession, I have three detailed studies with it, a woman with a dustbin and two with wheelbarrows. (Woman in a cape with a dustbin is not known.)

Well since then, you know, the dung-heap has come on one, and in the past few days I’ve made good progress with the second. It’s to be a coal-yard on the Rijn spoor site as I see it from the window of the studio. (Unknown)

I did some painted studies there, a bit of sea, a potato field, a field with women mending nets, and here at home a chap in the potato field planting cabbage in the empty spaces between the potato leaves, and then I’m working on the large drawing of beating the nets - (All unknown, perhaps chap in the potato field is "Man at work" F12/H185)

I have another study on the go, of dusty thistles with an innumerable swarm of white and yellow butterflies. (unknown)

There are a couple of small seascapes at De Bock’s, one with a choppy, one with a calm sea, a genre I’d very much enjoy pursuing. Yesterday a peasant cottage with a red roof under tall trees. Well, I believe that painting figure studies would help me with many things, I made a start with one boy in the potato field and one in the garden by a cane fence.

I’ve made another small painting of the wheat harvest since you left, the same size as the women pulling turnips in the snow - a reaper, a woman binding sheaves, sheaves, and the windmill, like the drawings you saw. An effect in the evening after sunset. (‘Wheat harvest, and women pulling turnips’ are not known).

What I did most recently is a rather large thing of an old mill on the bare heath, a dark silhouette against an evening sky. (unknown)

Now, in these last few weeks I have made 4 watercolors of Weavers. And a few others of a timber sale, an interior with a seamstress, and a gardener (The gardener and the seamstress watercolors are unknown)

I painted 3 more studies last week; one of the backs of old houses — seen out of my window — two in the park. (Paintings in the park are unknown)

I mercilessly destroyed an important canvas — a Christ with the angel in Gethsemane — as well as another one depicting the poet with a starry sky because the form hadn’t been studied from the model beforehand, necessary in such cases despite the fact that the color was right.

At the moment I’m working on a head of a child. (Unknown) / I’ve now finished two large figures. (Unknown)

I’ve given Mr. Salles a little canvas with pink and red geraniums on a completely black background, like I used to do in Paris. / At the moment I’ve just done a little portrait of one of the lads from here which he wanted to send to his mother (Both of these paintings are unknown)

At your place in Arles, I did a painting a little in that direction – The grape harvests (a painting you did the drawing of). A woman seated, vines in a red triangle. (The drawing by Van Gogh after this painting is not known)

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