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May 15th, 1940

My dear Mr. Ford:

I spent about a week in Detroit and am sorry to have been deprived of the pleasure of seeing you again. I had hoped that we might meet accidentally somewhere as knowing how busy you are, I always feel very reluctant to take up any of your time at your office.

However, I was very anxious to see you to talk to you about a painting which we have at the moment on exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts and which perhaps has already been called to your attention, as it naturally has been attracting a great deal of comment. This painting which we have lent anonymously, is the "Irises" by Van Gogh which was considered in France the foremost example by the master.

It has been in the celebrated Pellerin, Mirbeau and Doucet Collections and is the first picture Van Gogh painted after he moved to St. Rémy in May 1889.

It is mentioned in:

J.B. de la Faille, "L'Oeuvre de Vincent Van Gogh", Vol. I, No. 608; (Hyperion Edition 1939), No. 606.
"Lettres à son frère", (1923 edition), Vol. III, letter 591, page 315 (..I am working at two others - violet irises and a lilac bush, two subjects taken from the garden"); letter 600, page 345.
Theo. Van Gogh, "Lettres à son frère Vincent", letter 16, page 64; letter 19, page 71.

It is reproduced in:

"l'Impressionisme" in "Les Beaux Arts", June-September, 1935, Brussels, page 26.
"l'Amour de l'Art", April 1937, page 16, No. 41.
"Florent Fels, "Vincent Van Gogh", page 118.
W. Scherjon & Jos. de Gruyter, "Vincent Van Gogh's Great Period" (Amsterdam, 1937), page 203.
J.B. de la Faille, "l'Oeuvre de Vincent Van Gogh", Vol. II, No. 608, Pl. CLXVIII; (Hyperion Edition 1939), No. 606.
"l'Illustration", Christmas 1937 (in color).