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 & Mistakes) 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
10,347. I wish they would take me as I am. (Artists: Van Gogh & I & Self) Vincent van Gogh
10,348. I’m such a nobody. (Artists: Van Gogh & I & Self) Vincent van Gogh
10,349. Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And let us not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil. (Artists: Van Gogh & Eccentric) Vincent van Gogh
50,354. People are often unable to do anything, imprisoned as they are in I don’t know what kind of terrible, terrible, oh such terrible cage. (Prison & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh, letter to brother Theo
50,355. Do you know what makesVthe prison disappear? Every deep, genuine affection. Being friends, being brothers, loving, that is what opens the prison, with supreme power, by some magic force. Without these one stays dead. But whenever affection is revived, there life revives. (Prison & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh, letter to brother Theo
10,351. 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. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting) Vincent van Gogh
10,352. I work as diligently on my canvases as the labourers do in their fields. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting) Vincent van Gogh
10,353. Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model. (Artists: Van Gogh & Imagination & Advice) Vincent van Gogh
10,354. I risked my life for my own work, but my reasons half-founded on it. Vincent van Gogh, unfinished letter to brother Theo
10,384. But what can you do? (Artists: Van Gogh & Do) Vincent van Gogh, last words of unfinished letter
63,520. I have often neglected my appearance. I admit it, and I also admit that it is ‘shocking’. But look here, lack of money and poverty have something to do with it too, as well as a profound disillusionment, and besides, it is sometimes a good way of ensuring the solitude you need, of concentrating more or less on whatever study you are immersed in. (Appearance & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
66,533. For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me want to dream. (Certainty & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
67,374. 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. (Clarity & Artists: Van Gogh) Vincent van Gogh
69,258. One must work and dare if one really wants to live. (Dare & Artists: Van Gogh & Work) Vincent van Gogh
9,868. The Impressionists didn’t set out to be popular. The only great painter ... in the widest possible sense was ironically enough the only one who achieved absolutely no success in his lifetime: Vincent van Gogh. (Art & Civilisation & Artists: Van Gogh) Kenneth Clark, Civilisation: Heroic Materialism 13/13
9,869. His unconquerable need to paint. (Art & Civilisation & Artists: Van Gogh) ibid.
10,103. The most devoted painter of the stars was that hardened lover of the witching hour Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh was obsessed with the night. (Art & Night & Artists: Van Gogh) Waldemar Januszczak, The Art of the Night ****
10,381. Holland’s greatest gift to Impressionism was a red-head, small and wiry, beady-eyed and grumpy. It’s the brilliant little Dutch gnome Vincent van Gogh. (Art: Van Gogh & Netherlands) Waldemar Januszczak, The Impressionists IV: Painting and Revolution: Final Flourish
10,382. He was dark, driven, obsessive. ibid.
10,383. After a couple of absynths he [Van Gogh] could start a fight with a Buddhist monk. (Artists: Van Gogh & Fight & Alcohol) ibid.
137,169. Art is full of mysteries. And mysteries need solving. This is Van Gogh’s famous Self Portrait, a self-portrait with bandaged ear at the Courtauld Gallery in London. It’s famous because Van Gogh’s ear is so famous. Everyone knows the story of him cutting it off with a razor. And this picture painted soon after in 1889 commemorates that tragedy. (Art: Van Gogh & Mystery) The Art Mysteries with Waldemar Januszczak: Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, BBC 2020
137,170. It’s a picture full of mysteries: why does this easel look like a cross? Why is the bandage so prominent? And what’s this Japanese print doing here at the back? … And the biggest mystery of all, why did he cut off his ear in the first place? (Art: Van Gogh & Mystery) ibid.
137,171. It’s a hidden crucifixion; the easel at the back is his cross; and where Christ had his loincloth, Van Gogh has this grubby bandage that covers his wounds. (Art: Van Gogh & Mystery) ibid.
10,257. You can see Van Gogh’s faith in Nature as a religion. (Art & Artists: Van Gogh & Netherlands) Andrew Graham-Dixon, The High Art of the Low Countries III: Daydreams and Nightmares
10,258. A work that is so dark, so murky: The Potato Eaters. (Art & Artists: Van Gogh & Netherlands) ibid.
115,139. Shortly before 8 am in central Amsterdam on Saturday 7th December 2002 … In the museum quarter a van pulls up and two men unload a ladder and put some tools into a bag … and snatch two paintings close to the hole from which they had entered … and make their way with the paintings into the city. (Artists: Van Gogh & Theft & Painting) Andrew Graham-Dixon, Stealing Van Gogh, BBC 2018
115,140. More than 40 of his masterpieces have been stolen in at least 15 separate heists. (Artists: Van Gogh & Theft & Painting) ibid.
10,051. But for me the very greatest artist of that period has always been Van Gogh. (Artists: Van Gogh & Great) Francis Bacon, cited The Art of Francis Bacon
10,052. Van Gogh got very near to the violence of life itself. (Artists: Van Gogh & Life) ibid.
10,053. Starry starry night, paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer’s day with eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills, sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills, in colors on the snowy linen land.
Now I understand what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not know how, perhaps they’ll listen now. Vincent, Don McLean, 1971
10,054. In ten years he produced over a thousand paintings and even more drawings. His work seems effortless with an almost childlike touch. But it is in fact complex, passionate, expressive and the result of immense study as well as feeling. Great Artists With Tim Marlow: Van Gogh
10,055. The miner’s harsh living conditions made a deep impact on Van Gogh. He decided to share their hardship. (Artists: Van Gogh & Miner) ibid.
10,056. Depression was a powerful force in Van Gogh’s life and work. Living itself seemed a continuous struggle for him. He’d no money and he often went hungry. When he was twenty-one he fell in love with one of his models – a pregnant and alcoholic prostitute. (Artists: Van Gogh & Depression & Life's Like That) ibid.
10,057. This is Van Gogh’s first major oil painting ... of the workers, the peasants, around the farm at Nuynan. (Artists: Van Gogh & Worker) ibid.
10,058. When Van Gogh arrived here in Paris in 1886 it was already the artistic capital of the world. But it also introduced a new idea, a new concept to art history, that of the avant-garde ... Leading the way were the Impressionists. (Artists: Van Gogh & Paris) ibid.
10,059. And this is where Van Gogh lived in Arles, a small four-bedroom house, the Yellow House as he called it next to the cafe where he ate his meals and it was here that he was able to settle for the first time really over the previous ten years. ibid.
10,355. In fact Van Gogh’s mind was troubled by much more than isolation. He found himself gripped by terrible seizures and hallucinations. Doctors later diagnosed epilepsy. Van Gogh feared insanity ... The illness was becoming a central part of his painting. (Artists: Van Gogh & Insanity & Mental Health) ibid.
10,356. He used thickly applied paint; in some places it stands out from the canvas in great blobs giving an extra dimension to the flower heads. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting) ibid.
10,357. In 1987 one of the Sunflower paintings sold at auction for nearly forty million dollars. The ultimate accolade in a market-driven world. But supremely ironic given that Van Gogh failed to sell more than a single picture in his lifetime. (Artists: Van Gogh & Painting) ibid.