Vincent van gogh (1853-1890
and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium) where he was dismissed for overzealousness.
He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is "The Potato Eaters" (1885). In that year van Gogh went to Antwerp where he discovered the works of Rubens and purchased many Japanese prints.
In 1886, he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil's gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon, inevitably met Pissarro, Monet, and Gauguin. Having met the new Impressionist painters, he tried to imitate their techniques; he began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists’ style. Unable to successfully copy the style, he developed his own more bold and unconventional style.
In 1888, Van Gogh decided to go south to Arles where he hoped his friends would join him and help found a school of art. At The Yellow House, van Gogh hoped like-minded artists could create together. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. Van Gogh’s nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. Near the end of 1888, an incident led Gauguin to ultimately leave Arles. Van Gogh pursued him with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his own ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.
In May of 1890, after a couple of years at the asylum, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later, he died from what is believed to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound "for the good of all." During his brief career, he did not experience much success, he sold only one painting, lived in poverty, malnourished and overworked. The money he had was supplied by his brother, Theo, and was used primarily for art supplies, coffee and cigarettes.
Van Gogh's finest works were produced in less than three years in a technique that grew more and more impassioned in brushstroke, in symbolic and intense color, in surface tension, and in the movement and vibration of form and line. Van Gogh's inimitable fusion of form and content is powerful; dramatic, lyrically rhythmic, imaginative, and emotional, for the artist was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the spiritual essence of man and nature.
In spite of his lack of success during his lifetime, van Gogh’s legacy lives on having left a lasting impact on the world of art. Van Gogh is now viewed as one of the most influential artists having helped lay the foundations of modern art.
Vincent van gogh quotes
“I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed.”
“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.”
“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”
“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 I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.”
“How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?” –
“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.”
“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”
“Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence”
“Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.”
“The way to know life is to love many things.”
“Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy.” –
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people”
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
“I wish they would only take me as I am.”
“By working hard, old man, I hope to make something good one day. I haven’t yet, but I am pursuing it and fighting for it . . . .”
“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore”
“You write in your letter something which I sometimes feel also: Sometimes I do not know how I shall pull through.”
“Conscience is a man’s compass”
“I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.”
“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”
“Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion.”
“I have … a terrible need … shall I say the word? … of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.”
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” –
“One must work and dare if one really wants to live.”
“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”
“I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful. I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream”
“Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.”
“It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all to prudent.”
“As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.”
“It is only too true that a lot of artists are mentally ill- it’s a life which, to put it mildly, makes one an outsider. I’m all right when I completely immerse myself in work, but I’ll always remain half crazy.”
“One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way.”
“The more I think about it,the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others”
“Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter’s soul.”
“I see drawings and pictures in the poorest of huts and the dirtiest of corners.”
Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.”
“It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality is more important than the feeling for pictures.” –
“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.”
“Occasionally, in times of worry, I’ve longed to be stylish, but on second thought I say no—just let me be myself—and express rough, yet true things with rough workmanship.”
“I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate.”
“One must spoil as many canvases as one succeeds with.”
“For the great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together.”
“Love is eternal – the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and was a good lamp, but now it is shed”
“Ideas for work are coming to me in abundance…I’m going like a painting-locomotive.” –
“As you can see, I am immersing myself in color—I’ve held back from that until now; and I don’t regret it.”
“I consciously choose the dog’s path through life. I shall be poor; I shall be a painter…” –
“Drawing is the root of everything, and the time spent on that is actually all profit.”
“It always strikes me, and it is very peculiar, that when we see the image of indescribable and unutterable desolation – of loneliness, of poverty and misery, the end of all things, or their extreme – then rises in our mind the thought of God.”
“I’m drawing a great deal and think it’s getting better.”
“One can speak poetry just by arranging colors well, just as one can say comforting things in music.”
“I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting, but I cannot, suffering as I am, do without something which is greater than I am, which is my life, the power to create” –
“Sometimes I long so much to do landscape, just as one would go for a long walk to refresh oneself, and in all of nature, in trees for instance, I see expression and a soul.”
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