Vincent van Gogh Quotes: The 74 Most Memorable

Vincent van Gogh was one of the most accomplished artists of all time. The Dutch Post-Impressionist painter produced a staggering 2,100 artworks across a ten-year span. His collection of works includes everything from portraits and landscapes to still life and self-portraits. It’s believed he finished an astonishing 900 oil paintings during the final two years of his life. He also filled his diaries with memorable Van Gogh quotes.

Despite taking a liking to drawing as a child, Vincent van Gogh didn’t immediately set out on a career as an artist. The greatest Dutch painter of all time first worked as an art dealer. He became disillusioned with the job while working in London and turned to religion. He eventually returned home and began painting.

Vincent van Gogh was supported by his younger brother, Theo van Gogh, and moved to Paris to pursue his painting. There he met the likes of Emile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who helped him develop his own style.

As his output increased, so did his mental health problems. Vincent van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions. As his mental health deteriorated, so did his physical shape, as he rarely ate and turned to booze as a form of self-medication. This led to a fallout with Gauguin which saw van Gogh take a razor to his left ear, cutting part of it off.

After that episode, Vincent van Gogh was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for several years. Although his depression got worse, he continued to paint at an accelerated rate. On July 27, 1890, Vincent van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. Although he survived, an untreated infection meant he was dead some 30 hours later.

His last words were perhaps the most famous Vincent van Gogh quote. He was believed to have told his brother “the sadness will last forever,” which is rather depressing but very in tune with van Gogh’s mental state.

Similar to many tortured artists, van Gogh never sold a painting during his 37 years on the planet. He lived a life of squalor and was declared a madman by many in the art world. It wasn’t until the 20th century that his work was reevaluated and glowingly praised by critics.

Today Vincent Willem van Gogh is widely regarded as one of the great painters. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is visited by millions every year and when his paintings do go on sale, they fetch eye-watering sums of money.

While he is best known for his paintings, Vincent van Gogh kept diaries full of his thoughts and feelings on life. In these books are inspirational quotes from the famous painter. They also contain encouraging quotes, life lessons, introspective musings, and Van Gogh’s outlook on the world.

He was a man with much to say, which is why we have collected 74 of the most memorable Vincent van Gogh quotes for you to discover below.

Vincent van Gogh Quotes About Art

Vincent van Gogh painting

Encyclopedia Britannica

1. “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”

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

3. “A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.”

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

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

6. “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.”

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

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

9. “As practice makes perfect, I cannot but make progress; each drawing one makes, each study one paints, is a step forward.”

10. “An artist needn’t be a clergyman or a churchwarden, but he certainly must have a warm heart for his fellow men.”

11. “The uglier, older, meaner, iller, poorer I get, the more I wish to take my revenge by doing brilliant color, well-arranged, resplendent.”

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

13. “I see drawings and pictures in the poorest of huts and the dirtiest of corners.”

14. “The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.”

15. “What lives in art and is eternally living, is first of all the painter and then the painting.”

16. “I tried to express through red and green the terrible passions of humanity.”

17. “I think that I still have it in my heart someday to paint a bookshop with the front yellow