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Vincent Van Gogh Art Quotes - (118 quotes)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Adventure category:

I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Aging category:

As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Artists category:

An artist needn't be a clergyman or a churchwarden, but he certainly must have a warm heart for his fellow men. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Audience category:

One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul and yet no one ever comes to sit by it. Passersby see only a whisp of smoke rising from the chimney and continue on their way. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Brother/Sisterhood category:

Gauguin says that when sailors have to move a heavy load or raise an anchor, they all sing together to keep them up and give them vim. That's just what artists lack! (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Choices category:

You can't be at the Pole and at the Equator at the same time. You must choose your own line, as I hope to do, and it will probably be colour. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Colour category:

Suffice it to say that black and white are also colors... for their simultaneous contrast is as striking as that of green and red, for instance. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Colour category:

I am crazy about two colors: carmine and cobalt. Cobalt is a divine color and there is nothing so beautiful for creating atmosphere. Carmine is as warm and lively as wine... the same with emerald green. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Colour category:

How lovely yellow is! It stands for the sun. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Colour category:

There is no blue without yellow and without orange. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Complementaries category:

I am always hoping to make a discovery here, to express the feelings of two lovers by a marriage of two complementary colors, their minglings and their oppositions, the mysterious vibrations of kindred tones. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Complementaries category:

There are colors which cause each other to shine brilliantly, which form a couple which complete each other like man and woman. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Contemplation category:

I believe that one thinks much more soundly if the thoughts arise from direct contact with things, than if one looks at things with the aim of finding this or that in them. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Contentment category:

Still, there is a calm, pure harmony, and music inside of me. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Conviction category:

I do not know myself how I paint it. I sit down with a white board before the spot that strikes me. I look at what is before my eyes, and say to myself, that white board must become something. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Courage category:

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Creativity category:

As a suffering creature, I cannot do without something greater than I – something that is my life – the power to create. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Criticism category:

-in a letter to Theo Van Gogh, Drenthe, 28 October 1883...
If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter,' then by all means paint... and that voice will be silenced, but only by working. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Danger category:

The fisherman knows that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reasons for staying ashore. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Dealers category:

-in Nicholas Wright's play, Vincent in Brixton...
I lost my job as an art salesman. It was the customer's fault. He wanted to buy the wrong paintings. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Difficulty category:

In an artist's life, death is perhaps not the most difficult thing. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Difficulty category:

Painting it was hard graft. There are one and a half large tubes of white in the ground - yet that ground is very dark... (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Disappointment category:

Whoever lives sincerely and encounters much trouble and disappointment without being bowed down is worth more than one who has always sailed before the wind and has only known prosperity. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Dissatisfaction category:

I come back dissatisfied - I put it away, and when I have rested a little, I go and look at it with a kind of fear. Then I am still dissatisfied, because I still have that splendid scene too clearly in my mind to be satisfied with what I have made of it. But I find in my work an echo of what struck me... (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Dissatisfaction category:

Painting it was hard graft... in addition red, yellow, brown ochre, black, terra sienna, bistre, and the result is a red-brown that varies from bistre to deep wine-red and to pale, blond reddish... (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Drawing category:

I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Dreams category:

I dream my paintings, then I paint my dreams. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Dreams category:

Looking at the stars always makes me dream. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Dreams category:

The best pictures are always those one dreams of when one is smoking a pipe in bed, but which never get done. But still one ought to try, however incompetent one may feel before the unspeakable perfection and radiant splendour of nature. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Drunkenness category:

If the storm within gets too loud, I take a glass too much to stun myself. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Eccentricity category:

What am I in most people's eyes? A nonentity or an eccentric and disagreeable man... I should want my work to show what is in the heart of such an eccentric, of such a nobody. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Education category:

It interests me tremendously to make copies... I started it by chance and I find it teaches me things. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Education category:

In a sense I'm glad that I've never learned how to paint. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Education category:

I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Emotion category:

I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, 'He feels deeply, he feels tenderly.' (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Emotion category:

The feeling for things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for the picture. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Energy category:

Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Enthusiasm category:

Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Expectation category:

I wish they would only take me as I am. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Expression category:

To express the love of two lovers by a marriage of two complementary colors, their mingling and their opposition, the mysterious vibrations of Kindred tones. To express the thought of a brow by the radiance of light tone against a somber background; to express hope by some star, the eagerness of a soul by a sunset radiance. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Failure category:

I've failed again! (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Failure category:

Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Faith category:

Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Future category:

The painter of the future will be a colorist in a way no one has been before. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Goodness category:

A good picture is equivalent to a good deed. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Gratitude category:

I have walked this earth for 30 years, and, out of gratitude, want to leave some souvenir. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Greatness category:

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Health category:

The more I become decomposed, the more sick and fragile I am, the more I become an artist. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Humanity category:

I hope I shall be able to make some drawings in which there is something human. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Ideas category:

It seems to me it's a painter's duty to try to put an idea into his work. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Imagination category:

Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Impressionism category:

It isn't an easy job to paint oneself – at any rate if it is to be different from a photograph. And you see – this, in my opinion, is the advantage that impressionism possesses over all the other things; it is not banal, and one seeks after a deeper resemblance than the photograph. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Improvisation category:

Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Individuality category:

Only he can be an artist who has a religion all his own - an original way of viewing infinity. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Insecurity category:

Just dash something down if you see a blank canvas staring at you with a certain imbecility. You do not know how paralyzing it is, that staring of a blank canvas which says to the painter: you don't know anything. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Intimacy category:

There is something intimate about painting I cannot explain to you – but it is so delightful just for expressing one's feelings. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Language category:

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature one should listen to... (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Life category:

My aim in life is to make pictures and drawings, as many and as well as I can; then, at the end of my life... looking back with love and tender regret, and thinking, 'Oh, the pictures I might have made!' But this does not exclude making what is possible... (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Life category:

Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Light category:

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Love category:

It was Richepin who said somewhere, 'The love of art means loss of real love'... True, but on the other hand, real love makes you disgusted with art. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Love category:

The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Masters category:

If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has, at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Masters category:

Ah, Manet has come very, very close to it and Courbet - the marrying of form and colour. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Mistakes category:

It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Models category:

Just because of Rubens I am looking for a blonde model. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Models category:

When I have a model who is quiet and steady and with whom I am acquainted, then I draw repeatedly 'til there is one drawing that is different from the rest, which does not look like an ordinary study, but more typical and with more feeling. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Models category:

I don't know if I can convey the postman as I feel him... Unfortunately he cannot pose, and a painting demands an intelligent model. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Morality category:

-to Emile Bernard, re: his sonnets...
Study, analyse the social structure - that's always far more effective than moralising. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Mysteries category:

Exaggerate the essential; leave the obvious vague. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Nature category:

If one really loves nature, one can find beauty everywhere. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Nature category:

I devour nature ceaselessly. I exaggerate, sometimes I make changes in the subject; but still I don't invent the whole picture. On the contrary, I find it already there. It's a question of picking out what one wants from nature. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Observation category:

Art demands constant observation. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Observation category:

If we study Japanese art, we see a man who is undoubtedly wise, philosophic and intelligent, who spends his time doing what?... He studies a single blade of grass. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Obsession category:

The cypresses are always occupying my thoughts. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Painting category:

The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Painting category:

Oh! I must somehow manage to do a figure in a few strokes. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Painting category:

In painting I want to say something comforting in the way that music is comforting. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Passion category:

I tried to express through red and green the terrible passions of humanity. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Passion category:

I am a man of passions, capable of and subject to doing more or less foolish things – which I happen to regret, more or less, afterwards. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Perseverance category:

In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Planning category:

If you work diligently... without saying to yourself beforehand, 'I want to make this or that,' if you work as though you were making a pair of shoes, without artistic preoccupation, you will not always find you do well. But the days you least expect it, you will find a subject which holds its own with the work of those who have gone before. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Poetry category:

Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Portraiture category:

Have you seen that portrait Gauguin did of me painting sunflowers? It was really I, but it's I gone mad. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Portraiture category:

Ah! Portraiture, portraiture with the thought, the soul of the model in it, that is what I think must come. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Portraiture category:

I want to paint men and women with that something of the external which the halo used to symbolize, and which we now seek to give by the actual radiance and vibrancy of our colorings. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Possibilities category:

If I were to think of and dwell on disastrous possibilities, I could do nothing. I throw myself headlong into my work, and come up again with my studies. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Power category:

I cannot do without something greater than I, something that is my life – the power to create. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Profession category:

Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Progress category:

I myself believe that there is in every painter's life a period of making absurdities. In my case I think that period is already long past. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Questions category:

How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be? (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Realism category:

Accurate drawing, accurate colour, is perhaps not the essential thing to aim at, because the reflection of reality in a mirror, if it could be caught, colour and all, would not be a picture at all, no more than a photograph. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Realism category:

...a likeness different from the products of the God-fearing photographer. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Reality category:

To express hope by some star, the eagerness of a soul by a sunset radiance. Certainly there is nothing in that of stereoscopic realism, but is it not something that actually exists? (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Religion category:

I have a terrible need of – dare I say the word? – religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars... (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Religion category:

It always strikes me, and it is very peculiar, that, whenever we see the image of indescribable and unutterable desolation - of loneliness, poverty, and misery, the end and extreme of things - the thought of God comes into one's mind. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Risk category:

One must work and dare if one really wants to live. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Sadness category:

I want to do drawings which touch some people... In either figure or landscape I wish to express, not sentimental melancholy, but serious sorrow. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Sight category:

-on Dr. Gachet...
Now when one blind man leads another blind man, don't they both fall into the ditch? (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Simplicity category:

How difficult it is to be simple. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Sleep category:

I had a new idea in my head... this time it's just simply my bedroom, only here colour is to do everything, and, giving by its simplification a grander style to things, is to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, to look at the picture ought to rest the brain or rather the imagination. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Solitude category:

Often whole days pass without my speaking to anyone. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Strength category:

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Survival category:

To save a life is a real and beautiful thing. To make a home for the homeless, yes, it is a thing that must be good; whatever the world may say, it cannot be wrong. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Technique category:

Then I squeezed roots and trunks into it from the tube, and modelled them a little with the brush. Yes, now they stand in it - shoot up out of it - stand firmly rooted in it. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Time category:

He studies a single blade of grass. But this blade of grass leads him to draw every plant and then the seasons, the wide aspects of the countryside, then animals, then the human figure. So he passes his life, and life is too short to do the whole. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Tones category:

When using colors to recreate a general harmony of tones in nature, one loses it by painfully exact imitation. One keeps it by recreating in an equivalent color range, and that may not be exactly, or far from exactly, like the model. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Truth category:

My great longing is to make those very incorrectnesses, those deviations, remodellings, changes in reality, so that they may become, yes, lies if you like – but truer than the literal truth. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Truth category:

I have played hell somewhat with the truthfulness of the colours. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Understanding category:

Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Understanding category:

Perhaps someday everyone will have neurosis. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Vanity category:

If boyhood and youth are but vanity, must it not be our ambition to become men? (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Wonder category:

I never get tired of the blue sky. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Wonder category:

I was struck by how firmly the slender trunks stood in the ground - I began them using a brush, but because of the ground, which was already impasted, one brushstroke simply disappeared. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Words category:

There are so many people, especially among our comrades, who imagine that words are nothing – on the contrary, isn't it true that saying a thing well is as interesting and as difficult as painting it? (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Work category:

The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Work category:

I work even in the middle of the day, in the full sunshine, and I enjoy it like a cicada. (Vincent van Gogh)

Vincent van Gogh - From the Writing category:

Seeing that I am so busily occupied with myself just now, I want to try to paint my self-portrait in writing. (Vincent van Gogh)



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Last modified: April 16, 2014