From a Letter to Theo*
Vincent Van Gogh, The Hague,
September 3, 1882
Behind those saplings, behind that brownish-red soil,
is a sky very delicate, bluish-gray, warm, hardly blue,
all aglow – and against it all is a hazy border of green
and a network of little stems and yellowish leaves.
A few figures of wood gatherers are wandering around
like dark masses of mysterious shadows.
The white cap of a woman bending to reach a dry branch
stands out suddenly against the deep red-brown of the ground.
A skirt catches the light – a shadow is cast –
a dark silhouette of a man appears above the underbrush.
A white bonnet, a cap, a shoulder, the bust of a woman
molds itself against the sky. Those figures are large
and full of poetry – in the twilight of that deep shadowy tone
they appear as enormous terracottas being modeled in a studio.
*from – Vincent Van Gogh: A Self Portrait, Letters Revealing
His Life as a Painter, selected by W.H. Auden