Gauguin, Paul (1848 – 1903)
Gauguin writes to Pissarro
A fine two-page autograph letter signed by Paul Gauguin, “P. Gauguin”, written to fellow artist Camille Pissarro. Gauguin opens that he is “thinking about going to Rouen for the Thursday of All-Saints; will you still be there? If so, please send me a message, and I will leave on Wednesday. Retain a room for me at the hotel where you are staying.I have been very busy for some time. I went to see Petit who was nice enough and liked my paintings. He may yet change his mind, but so many millions have been stupidly swallowed up by his business that he doesn’t dare invest one more sou in anything whatsoever. He assured me that he would take some of my paintings at some later point, but he did not want to make any more arrangements with anybody, no matter who.” He goes on, “Durand-Ruel showed me a letter from you; with a quick glance I committed an indiscretion: I saw that you need 400 F; if Durand-Ruel cannot give it to you, I will bring it with me on Thursday. – I wonder if I can’t find a house to rent in Rouen.
I have to think it over carefully if I should make an effort or not. I will try to set up connections in Rouen, perhaps sell a little in this city that is known to have rich merchants. A little here, a little there, and it could mean a whole year for me. Durand-Ruel could give me some help; I have brought in good business for him. Don’t forget to send me the message. Truly, P. Gauguin”. The artist adds a note beneath his signature, “I apologize for bothering you with my troubles.” In very fine condition. Undated, though likely shortly after Gauguin’s 1893 solo exhibition, put on by the art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, whom Gauguin here describes as having made good money from his art. The exhibition, though, was not a great financial success, which is perhaps why Gauguin seems to have been looking for new representation in the art dealer Georges Petit, and why he was toying, in this letter, with plans to eke out a living in Rouen. A fantastic association piece.