In August 1888, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister, Willemein:
In life there’s always a fate that’s very annoying. And many painters die or go mad from despair, or become paralyzed in their production because nobody loves them personally..Have you read Whitman’s American poems yet? Theo should have them, and I really urge you to read them, first because they’re really beautiful…He sees in the future, and even in the present, a world of health, of generous, frank carnal love—of friendship—of work, with the great starry firmament, something, in short, that one could only call God and eternity, put back in place above this world. They make you smile at first, they’re so candid, and then they make you think, for the same reason..We were talking just now about a fate that seemed sad to us. But isn’t there another, delightful fate? And what is it to us if there is or isn’t a resurrection?
Then he painted this: