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Mine of Crachet & Pecry 1888
Mine of Crachet & Pecry, Belgium, 1888 by Eugène Boch
Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
Phonebook of Belgium.com

Eugene Boch's Painting Mine of Crachet & Pecry

Letter by Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh
1890 June 23 - written from Paris


One My dear Vincent,
I have something to write to you which I think will give you pleasure.
Yesterday I was first at the Salon with Boch,
who then came to lunch, after which we saw your paintings.
He likes them very much, and it seems to me that he understands them.
As you had said that you would willingly do an exchange with him,
when I saw that he preferred the canvas you did after reading
I told him that he could take that one in exchange for a painting of his.

He seemed delighted, and put everything he had at your disposal.
I went with him to see what he had with him,
and among them was a canvas done at Frameries in the Borinage,
depicting the factory of Crachet & Pecry,
which perhaps you remember, the whole factory is in smoke and steam
and stands out darkly with very bright reflections of the sun on one side against the green wheat.

The sky is very luminous I think that above all the subject
and the intention of what he wanted to do are remarkable.
Itís neither very skilful nor powerful, but very sincere, like the fellow himself.
If you donít like this canvas heíll willingly change it for another,
but it would astonish me if you didnít like it at all.

The Salon is pitiful, thereís almost nothing there that isnít profoundly boring.
You, though, judged well as regards the Quost.
If I had to choose one thatís the one Iíd take. It is Easter flowers.
Itís very gentle and harmonious, and all the same thereís colour in it.
The Jeannins are good too, but theyíre full of bluster.
I saw Quost the other day and I spoke to him about you.
I was telling him that you liked his talent very much, which pleased him very much, he said.
If you come to Paris you mustnít fail to go and see him,
heíll be very pleased when you come to see him, either in the park or at his place.

And now I must tell you something about your etching.
Itís a real painterís etching. No refinement in the procedure,
but a drawing done on metal.
I like this drawing very much. Boch also liked it.
Itís amusing that Dr Gachet has this press,
painters who make etchings are always complaining
that they have to go to the printer for the proofs.

I think that Auvers has a lot of good,
and I would very much like you to be of that opinion.
Weíre already looking forward with a great deal of pleasure to coming to see you soon.
For different reasons, first to see you, secondly to see your work,
thirdly for the beautiful nature, and fourthly because I hope that seeing the countryside will give me strength for being able to work a great deal.
The RaffaŽlli exhibition is finished, now the people are all going to the country
and Iím not losing much by not being there.
Iím enclosing 50 francs for you with this letter.
Last week Jo had to stay in bed all the time, but fortunately itís gone now.
The little one is well. Warm regards, also from Jo and the little one.

Ever yours, Theo

see also Van Gogh Letters n° 890


1960 Video in about the expo
Friends of van Gogh
with an interview with Vincent Willem van Gogh
featuring the painting towards the end of the Video



Letter by Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
1890 June 24 - written from Auvers sur Oise


My dear Theo,
Thanks very much for your letter and for the 50-franc note it contained.

The exchange you made with Boch is very good
and am very curious to see what sort of thing heís making at present.


I hope that Joís health is better,
since you say that sheís been indisposed.
Indeed, you must come here as soon as possible,
nature is very, very beautiful here, and Iím longing to see you all again.
Mr Peyron wrote to me two days ago. His letter is enclosed.
I told him that it seemed to me sufficient to give the lads ten francs
Now the canvases from down there have arrived,
the Irises have dried well and I dare believe that youíll find something in them
thus there are also some roses, a wheatfield,
a little canvas with mountains and finally a cypress with a star.

This week Iíve done a portrait of a young girl of 16 or so,
in blue against a blue background,
the daughter of the people where Iím lodging.
I gave her that portrait but Iíve done a variant for you

Then I have a canvas one metre long by only 50 centimetres high,
of fields of wheat and one that makes a pendant of undergrowth,
lilac trunks of poplars, and underneath them some flower-dotted grass,
pink, yellow, white and various greens.
Finally a night effect Ė two completely dark pear trees agains yellowing sky with wheatfields,
and in the violet background the castle encased in the dark greenery.

The Dutchman is working quite assiduously,
but still deludes himself considerably about the originality of his way of seeing.
He does studies a little like Koning did, a little grey, a little green with a red roof, a whitening road.
What can you say in a case like that, if he has money then certainly he does right to do painting.
But if he has to scheme a lot to sell them I feel sorry for him doing it,
painting, as I pity others for buying it at a price thatís relatively too high.
If, though, he just works assiduously every day, he might get there.
But alone or with painters who work little he wouldnít do much, I think.

I hope to do Miss Gachetís portrait next week,
and perhaps Iíll also have a country girl to pose too.

Eugene Boch
Iím pleased that Boch is doing this exchange with me,
for I thought that, relatively, theyíd paid a little too much for the other canvas, being friends.


Iíd very much like to come to Paris for a few days a little later,
precisely in order to go and see Quost once, to see Jeannin, one or two others.
Iíd very much like you to have a Quost,
and there would probably be a way of exchanging one.

Gachet will come today to see the canvases from the south.
Good fortune with the little one, and good handshake in thought for you and Jo.


see also Van Gogh Letters n° 891




De Rode Daachen 1888La Houliere 1891Mine of Crachet and PecryAnna & Eugene Boch Expo 2000, Musee Royal de Mariemont

Eugene Boch exchanged this painting with Vincent van Gogh
more coming soon