The Hague – 1883, February

If women do not always show in their thoughts the energy and elasticity of men, who are disposed towards reflection and analysis, we cannot blame them, at least in my opinion, because in general they have to spend so much more strength than we in suffering pain. They suffer more and are more sensitive.

Written from Vincent van Gogh to his younger brother Theo van Gogh.

The beginning of the letter mentions of a woman whom Theo had befriended with since Paris. She was a sick and alone at the time of their friendship and this may have been to Vincent a profound reminiscent with his relationship with Siene – a prostitute left deserted on the street which the Sketch The Sorrow was entitled to.

My hearty congratulations for Father’s birthday, and thanks for your letter, which I was very glad to receive just now. I congratulate you especially on the operation being over. Such things as you describe make one shudder! May the worst be over now, at least the crisis is past! Poor woman!

Vincent was 29 years old.
Theo was 25 years old.

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