Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

Vincent
van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh
1853
1890

Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter

Author Quotes

The majority of (painters), because they aren't colorists, do not see yellow, orange or sulphur in the South (of France) and they call a painter mad if he sees with eyes other than theirs

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

To do good work one must eat well, be well housed, have one's fling from time to time, smoke one's pipe, and drink one's coffee in peace.

What has changed is that my life then was less difficult and my future seemingly less gloomy, but as far as my inner self, my way of looking at things and of thinking is concerned, that has not changed. But if there has indeed been a change, then it is that I think, believe and love more seriously now what I thought, believed and loved even then.

The Mediterranean has the color of mackerel, changeable I mean. You don't always know if it is green or violet, you can't even say it's blue, because the next moment the changing reflection has taken on a tint of rose or gray.

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?

To exaggerate the fairness of hair, I come even to orange tones, chromes and pale yellow ... I make a plain background of the richest, intensest blue that I can contrive, and by this simple combination of the bright head against the rich blue background, I get a mysterious effect, like a star in the depths of an azure sky.

What I like so much about painting is that with the same amount of trouble which one takes over a drawing, one brings home something that conveys the impression much better and is much more pleasant to look at … it is more gratifying than drawing. But it is absolutely necessary to be able to draw the right proportion and the position of the object pretty correctly before one begins. If one makes mistakes in this, the whole thing comes to nothing.

The more I become decomposed, the more sick and fragile I am, the more I become an artist.

There are things which we feel to be good and true, though in the cold light of reason and calculation many things remain incomprehensible and dark. And though the society in which we live considers such actions thoughtless, or reckless, or I don't know what else, what can we say if once the hidden forces of sympathy and love have been roused in us? And though it may be that we cannot argue against the reasoning sentiment and to act from impulse, one would almost conclude that some people have cauterized certain sensitive nerves within them, especially those which, combined, are called conscience. Well, I pity those people; they travel through life without compass, in my opinion.

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?

What is done in love is done well.

The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.

There are two ways of thinking about painting, how not to do it and how to do it; how to do it -- with much drawing and little color; how not to do it -- with much color and little drawing.

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.

What is true is that I have at times earned my own crust of bread, and at other times a friend has given it to me out of the goodness of his heart. I have lived whatever way I could, for better or for worse, taking things just as they came. It is true that I have forfeited the trust of various people, it is true that my financial affairs are in a sorry state, it is true that the future looks rather bleak, it is true that I might have done better, it is true that I have wasted time when it comes to earning a living, it is true that my studies are in a fairly lamentable and appalling state, and that my needs are greater, infinitely greater than my resources. But does that mean going downhill and doing nothing?

The more ugly, old, nasty, ill, and poor I become the more I want to get my own back by producing vibrant, well-arranged, radiant color.

There is a great difference between one idler and another idler. There is someone who is an idler out of laziness and lack of character, owing to the baseness of his nature. If you like, you may take me for one of those. Then there is the other kind of idler, the idler despite himself, who is inwardly consumed by a great longing for action who does nothing because his hands are tied, because he is, so to speak, imprisoned somewhere, because he lacks what he needs to be productive, because disastrous circumstances have brought him forcibly to this end. Such a one does not always know what he can do, but he nevertheless instinctively feels, I am good for something! My existence is not without reason! I know that I could be a quite a different person! How can I be of use, how can I be of service? There is something inside me, but what can it be? He is quite another idler. If you like you may take me for one of those.

To look at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots of a map representing towns and villages. Why, I ask myself, should the shining dots of the sky not be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?

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.

The more ugly, older, more cantankerous, more ill and poorer I become, the more I try to make amends by making my colors more vibrant, more balanced and beaming.

There is but one Paris and however hard living may be here, and if it became worse and harder even-the French air clears up the brain and does good-a world of good.

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.

When I have a terrible need of - shall I say the word - religion, then I go out and paint the stars.

The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting.

Author Picture
First Name
Vincent
Last Name
van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh
Birth Date
1853
Death Date
1890
Bio

Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter