Because I sometimes paint things like that – with as little and as much drama as a dusty blade of grass by the side of the road – it’s right, as it seems to me, that I should have an unbounded admiration for De Goncourt, Zola, Flaubert, Maupassant, Huysmans. But as regards yourself, don’t hurry, and continue boldly with the Russians. Have you read Ma religion by Tolstoy15 yet – it must be very practical and really useful. So go right to the very depths of that, since you like it.
To Willemien van Gogh. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Thursday, 19 September 1889.
What Pissarro says is true — the effects colours produce through their harmonies or discords should be boldly exaggerated. It’s the same as in drawing — the precise drawing, the right colour — is not perhaps the essential element we should look for — because the reflection of reality in the mirror, if it was possible to fix it with colour and everything — would in no way be a painting, any more than a photograph.
—From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Arles, on or about Tuesday, 5 June 188