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10,366. He thought of himself as a prophet then. And also a thinker ... Letters: hundreds of them. Mostly to his brother Theo: you’ll see that intelligence bubbling away. (Artists: Van Gogh & Prophet & Intelligence) Simon Schama’s Power of Art: Van Gogh
10,367. He appointed himself as a missionary to the destitute ... What he wanted to be was a preacher. (Artists: Van Gogh & Preacher) ibid.
10,368. Art would succeed where the Church had failed. (Artists: Van Gogh & Church & Religion) ibid.
10,369. The Potato Eaters is his first knockout masterpiece. It’s a resume of everything he has felt and thought up to now. ibid.
10,370. Van Gogh’s version of nature would always be earthier, clumsier, smellier, truer. (Artists: Van Gogh & Nature) ibid.
10,371. A great ejaculation of emotional energy ... of paint. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting) ibid.
10,372. At the heart of all the greatest pictures from this prolific summer is the opposition between barren and fruitful worlds. Between comradeship and loneliness: welcome to The Night Cafe. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting) ibid.
10,373. Not mad exactly but suffering. Vincent was an epileptic and struggled with deepening bouts of depression, made worse no doubt by the relentless bad news from Theo that still nobody wanted to buy his pictures. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting & Madness & Mental Health & Depression) ibid.
10,374. He is translating mental upheaval into a revolution on the canvas. (Artists: Van Gogh & Mental Health) ibid.
10,375. They are anything but deranged: they are unflinching, tumultuous, heroic, and completely new. And here’s the most startling of them all: Wheat Field With Crows. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting) ibid.
10,376. Vincent van Gogh creates modern art. ibid.
10,377. Theo held him as he died on the 29th July 1890. Gone. At the moment his entire life had been vindicated. ibid.
654. Vincent’s passionate belief was that people wouldn’t just see his pictures, but feel the rush of life in them. That by the force of his brush and the dazzlement of his colour they’d experience those fields, those faces, those flowers in ways nothing more polite or literal could ever possibly convey. His art would reclaim what had once belonged to Religion: consolation for our mortality through the relish of the gift of Life. (Religion & Life’s Like That & Artists: Van Gogh) ibid.
117,530. It was Vincent van Gogh who’d reach most feverishly towards an even more radiant redemptive in paint. (Civilisation & Creativity & Culture & Art & Artists: Van Gogh & Colour) Simon Schama, Civilisations 1e7: Radiance
10,326. To me Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all; certainly the most popular great painter of all time. The most beloved; his command of colour, the most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world ... No-one had ever done it before. Perhaps no-one ever will again. To my mind that strange wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived. (Artists: Van Gogh & Pain & Beauty) Richard Curtis, Dr Black in Vincent and the Doctor
85,238. Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it. (Poetry & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
73,034. There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no-one ever warms himself at it, and passers-by see only a wisp of smoke. (Fire & Soul & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
375. When I have a terrible need of – shall I say the word – religion, then I go out and paint the stars. (Religion & Paint & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
6,502. I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process. (Mind & Madness & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
6,799. Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again. (Knowledge & Mistakes & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
9,610. What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? (Courage & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
10,327. There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. (Artists: Van Gogh & Love) Vincent van Gogh
10,328. I cannot help it that my pictures do not sell. Nevertheless the time will come when people will see that they are worth more than the price of the paint. (Artists: Van Gogh & Paintings) Vincent van Gogh, letter to brother Theo 20th October 1888
10,329. If the sight of blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you, if the simplest things of Nature have a message that you understand, rejoice – for your soul is alive. (Artists: Van Gogh & Nature & Soul) Vincent van Gogh
10,330. A good picture is equivalent to a good deed. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting & Deed) Vincent van Gogh
10,331. I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream. (Artist: Van Gogh & Painting & Dream) Vincent van Gogh
10,332. Well right now it seems that things are going very badly for me. Vincent van Gogh, letter to brother Theo
10,333. I heard at Etten that you’d sent me fifty Francs. Well I’ve accepted them with reluctance of course but I’m in trouble and what else can I do? And so I’m writing to thank you. (Artists: Van Gogh & Trouble) Vincent van Gogh, letter to brother Theo 155
10,334. Dear Theo ... I think Gauguin is a little disenchanted with me. Vincent van Gogh
10,335. Dear Theo ... It just won’t do for us to think that I am completely sane. (Artists: Van Gogh & Sanity) Vincent van Gogh
10,336. Dear Brother and Sister, I still continue to feel the storm that threatens you weighing on me too. You see, I try to be genuinely cheerful. But my life is also threatened at the very root. And my steps are wavering. (Artists: Van Gogh & Life’s Like That) Vincent van Gogh
10,337. It’s very difficult to know yourself. But it’s also very difficult to paint yourself. (Artists: Van Gogh & Self & Painting) Vincent van Gough
10,338. I am in a fury of work because the trees are all in blossom. (Artists: Van Gogh & Trees) Vincent van Gough, to brother Theo
10,340. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum. (Artists: Van Gogh & Misery) Vincent van Gogh, letter to brother Theo
10,342. The work is an absolute necessity for me. I can’t put it off. (Artists: Van Gogh & Work) Vincent van Gogh
10,343. 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. (Artists: Van Gogh & Life’s Like That) Vincent van Gogh, letter to Theo July 1880
10,344. I must continue to follow the path I take now. If I do nothing, if I study nothing, if I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it – keep going, keep going come what may.
But what is your final goal, you may ask. That goal will become clearer, will emerge slowly but surely, much as the rough draught turns into a sketch, and the sketch into a painting through the serious work done on it, through the elaboration of the original vague idea and through the consolidation of the first fleeting and passing thought. (Artists: Van Gogh & Life’s Like That) ibid.
10,341. I am good for something! (Artists: Van Gogh & Good) Vincent van Gogh
10,339. What am I in the eyes of most people – a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person – somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then – even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. Vincent van Gogh, letter to brother Theo July 1882
10,345. I tell you, if one wants to be active, one must not be afraid of going wrong, one must not be afraid of making mistakes now and then. Many people think that they will become good just by doing no harm – but that's a lie, and you yourself used to call it that. That way lies stagnation, mediocrity. (Artists: Van Gogh & Mistake) Vincent van Gogh, letter to Theo October 1884
10,346. The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting) Vincent van Gogh