Van Gogh about Jean-François Millet


Vincent van Gogh in a letter to Theo, from The Hague, 5 Nov 1882 - original manuscript of letter no. 280 - at Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam:
..I fear that in a few years there may be a kind of 'panic', in this form: 'since Millet' we have sunk very low - the word decadence, now whispered or pronounced in veiled terms (see Herkomer), will then sound like an alarm bell. Many, like I myself, now keep quiet, because they already have the reputation of being awkward customers, and talking about it doesn't help.

That - namely, talking - isn't what one needs to do - one must work, though with sorrow in the heart. Those who later cry out the loudest about decadence will themselves belong to it the most.
I repeat: 'by this shall ye know them', [from: Matt. 7:16.] by their work, and it won't be the most eloquent who say the truest things. See Millet himself, see Herkomer, they're certainly not orators, and speak almost reluctantly.




























































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