Vincent van Gogh Quotes on Life, Art & Love

Vincent Van Gogh (1853- 1890) was a prolific and influential Dutch artist of the 19th century, best known for his vivid and evocative paintings.

His work has had a major impact on modern art and continues to inspire artists today with its unique style and powerful themes.

Despite creating over 2,100 pieces of art and the fact that he is so well known today, van Gogh was commercially unsuccessful during his lifetime, having sold only 1 painting.

Today, however, his paintings are some of the most expensive paintings in the world.

Throughout his short life, van Gogh struggled with physical and multiple mental health issues, which ultimately took his life at the age of 37.

In addition to his iconic works of art, Van Gogh is also known for his insightful quotes about art, life lessons, and the human condition. Some of the most famous quotes by van Gogh are incredibly wise and offer a glimpse into his brilliant, yet troubled mind.  

Van Gogh Quotes About Life


“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh


“The beginning is perhaps more difficult than anything else, but keep heart, it will turn out all right.” Vincent van Gogh


“Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives, and we obey them without realizing it.” Vincent van Gogh


“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” Vincent Van Gogh


“Seek only light and freedom and do not immerse yourself too deeply in the worldly mire.” Vincent van Gogh


“I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” Vincent Van Gogh


“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” Vincent van Gogh


“I put my heart and my soul into my work and have lost my mind in the process.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent Van Gogh


“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Exaggerate the essential, leave the obvious vague.” Vincent Van Gogh


“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too.” Vincent van Gogh


“I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed.” Vincent Van Gogh


“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


“I wish they would only take me as I am.” Vincent Van Gogh


“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


“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


“How can I be useful; of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?” Vincent Van Gogh


“Admire as much as you can. Most people do not admire enough.” Vincent van Gogh


“I see drawings and pictures in the poorest of huts and the dirtiest of corners.” Vincent Van Gogh


“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


“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” Vincent van Gogh


“Success is sometimes the outcome of a whole string of failures.” Vincent van Gogh


Van Gogh Quotes About Art


“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


“I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.” Vincent Van Gogh


“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.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion.” Vincent Van Gogh


“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.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter’s soul.” Vincent Van Gogh


“A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Art is to console those who are broken by life.” Vincent van Gogh


“Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don’t know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to the painter, ‘You can’t do a thing’. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can’t’ once and for all.” Vincent van Gogh


Van Gogh Quotes About Stars


“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.” Vincent Van Gogh


“When I have a terrible need of – shall I say the word – religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.” Vincent Van Gogh


“Someday death will take us to another star.” Vincent van Gogh


“I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream.” Vincent Van Gogh


“It is a pity that, as one gradually gains experience, one loses one’s youth.” Vincent Van Gogh


Van Gogh Quotes About Friendship


“There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.” Vincent van Gogh


“Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.” Vincent van Gogh


“If you don’t have a dog–at least one–there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” Vincent van Gogh


Van Gogh Quotes About Love

“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” Vincent Van Gogh


“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


“The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others.” Vincent Van Gogh


“I will not live without love.” Vincent Van Gogh


“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 shedding light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and that way, one is more fit for one’s work.” Vincent van Gogh



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