21 Vincent Van Gogh Quotes You Need To Know

I have always been extremely passionate when it comes to the world of art. From the moment I picked up a paint brush, I discovered an exhilarating way to portray my thoughts without using words. 

When I paint the rest of the world goes silent. I completely zone out of my surroundings, and all I can see and feel is my canvas. I could spend hours in museums, analyzing and admiring every brush stroke from artists around the world. 

Art is a universal language. It can be felt and understood by people around the world, from any culture or background regardless of their native tongue. It is one of the most powerful forms of communication and has been around for centuries. 

One artist in particular, Vincent Van Gogh, has influenced and inspired me beyond belief. His art is truly captivating, but it was his outlook on life and story that ignited a fire inside me. 

Van Gogh’s led a tragically short life, filled with despair and turmoil. He suffered from depression and utilized art as a way to cope with the overload of emotions he felt. I not only connected with how he felt everything so deeply, but I admired him for choosing to love with an open heart against all odds. 

Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night Houston Museum of Fine Arts September 2003
Photo: Courtesy of Houston Museum of Fine Arts via Wikimedia Commons

See, Vincent had a habit of falling for toxic women and spent most of his life trying to fix and heal them. Time and time again, he ended up heartbroken but he never let it alter his heart. The compassion he had for others pushed him to continue giving until he had nothing left. He was a hopeless romantic and his story resonated with me because I understood how he felt.

Like many artists, Van Gogh passed away in poverty and never got the chance to see the impact he would soon make on the world. Now his art is worth millions of dollars and can be found in the most prestigious museums around the world.

Vincent Van Gogh was a genius with his paint brush, but he was also extremely gifted with words. His perspective has allowed me to embrace life and love regardless of the imminent risk of getting hurt. 

Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait Painting Courtesy Musée d’Orsay via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Courtesy Musée d’Orsay via Wikimedia Commons

Below are some famous lines from Vincent Van Gogh that spoke to me:

“I feel that there is nothing more artistic than to love people.”

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

“If you hear a voice within you say, “You cannot paint”, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

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

“I put my heart and soul into my work, and have lost myself in the process.”

“If I am worth anything later, I am worth something now. For wheat is wheat, even if people think it is a grass in the beginning.”

The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei , distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN3936122202.

“Normality is a paved road: it is comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”

“For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” 

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

“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke.”

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

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

By Vincent van Gogh – Vincent van Gogh: In der Provence, R.Piper & Co, Verlag, München 1977, ISBN 3492110703

“I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.”

“Art is to console those broken by life.”

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all of my heart.” 

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

“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, ‘He feels deeply. He loves tenderly’.”

“I cannot change the fact that my paintings don’t sell. But the time will come when people will recognize that they are worth more than the value of the paint used in the picture.”

“One must work and dare if one really wants to live.”

“Admire as much as you can, most don’t admire enough.”

Vincent van Gogh: In der Provence, R.Piper & Co, Verlag, München 1977, ISBN 3492110703

At 18, I got my only tattoo. Looking back I didn’t understand the full magnitude of what it represented. It was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh as well as my love of painting. Written on my ribs in Italian, the language of my ancestors, it translates to “the way to live life is to love more.”

Ironically, it aligns with everything I know now for certain. It is a true reflection of the woman I have become and serves as a daily reminder to lead with my heart, even if I get let down in the process. 

One day, I will be standing in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam when all of my hard work pays off and I will finally be able to pay him a proper tribute for impacting my life through his work. 

And then I will pay it forward by spending the rest of my life touching the heart of others.

With love, 

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