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    Charles Laval. Two Autograph Letters Signed.
    1) ALS. "Charles." Three pages (of a bifolium) in French, 4.25" x 6.75", [Panama?]; [circa 1887]. In this letter to someone named "Picolo," Laval writes of his time with Gauguin in Panama. At the top of the letter, Laval writes [English translation] "Best wishes from Gauguin." He continues, "I am writing for both Gauguin and I since he has a migraine. My dear friend, you are wrong to preoccupy yourself so much with our Panama decision. In my current health situation nothing is worse for me than Paris. I spent the winter freezing and eating only enough to sustain myself. My health survived this winter so I must now recover in a gentle climate where I can eat fish and fruit without a care today or tomorrow. In France we tend to turn everything into a drama. This decision is the most rational and healthy for me, I will be able to work freely with a companion and friend. You say you would like to join us but this cannot happen yet. Have patience and do not worry about our new existence. I have some funds that should reach me soon, as does Gauguin. We will not be there forever yet Gauguin's [illegible] are up for grabs. Gauguin is hopeful that we can convince my brother-in-law to invest funds in order to set up a ["branch" or "trading post"] in Madagascar. This comes from a proposition made to Gauguin but that would take too long to set up. I'll leave it at that for now, my head is empty now." 2) ALS. "C. Laval." Two pages in French, 8" x 9", Martinique; [circa 1887]. In this letter to his friend Picolo, Laval writes that he and Gauguin moved to Martinique. "I should have sent you this earlier. We talk about you every day with Gauguin. This is what happens when misfortunes come up one after the other. After endless incidents both unpleasant and uninteresting we have finally ended up in Martinique and are finally enjoying this relaxing freedom. I am very eager to hear from you although it took me so long to write. The indigenous people offer so much quaintness, we could not ask for more. There is enough to inspire art for multiple artists."

    Charles Laval (1861-1894) was a French painter associated with the Synthetic movement and Pont-Aven School. Laval was born in Paris, and was a contemporary and friend of Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) and Vincent van Gogh. Gauguin and Laval met at Pension Gloanec in Pont-Aven in 1886 and became friends. In search of an exoticism that could provide the key to art, Gauguin and Laval went to Panama in 1887. To gain some subsidies, Laval painted academic portraits (all lost). A series of mishaps caused Laval and Gauguin to leave Central America for the island of Martinique. Laval died of an illness complicated by tuberculosis in 1894 at the age of 32.

    Condition: 1) Letter is in fragile condition. 2) Letter is in fragile condition.

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    Additional Location Info:
    Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion2 East 79th StreetNew York, NY 10075

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