60 Best Vincent van Gogh Quotes

Explore our collection of Vincent van Gogh quotes that provide some inspirational and insight into his thoughts on art, life, and love.

Vincent van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter who is one of the most famous and influential figures in the art world. He is known for his unique style and his ability to capture the emotions of his subjects.

Short biography of Vincent Willem van Gogh

An excellent painter of his time, Vincent van Gogh was born in the Netherlands in 1853. He didn’t start painting until he was 27 years old. Once he started, he painted for only a decade before dying at the age of 37. His work was rarely recognized during his lifetime, but he is now regarded as one of the greatest painters of the Post-Impressionist era.

For van Gogh, painting was not simply a job or a hobby – it was a passion that consumed him completely. This passion is evident in the more than 2,000 paintings and 900 drawings that he produced during his short life.

His most famous paintings are “Starry Night” and “Sunflowers.” Van Gogh struggled with mental illness throughout his life and this is reflected in his work which is sometimes dark and depressing but also has moments of great beauty. Despite the tragedy of his life, van Gogh’s legacy is one of hope and inspiration.

Vincent van Gogh quotes are some of the most inspiring and beautiful words ever spoken. The great artist was also known for his unique perspective on art, life, and love, and his words continue to resonate with people today. Here are some of the most memorable of Vincent van Gogh quotes:

Vincent van Gogh quotes about life

In his letters to his brother Theo, Vincent van Gogh often spoke about the meaning of life and how to live it. Here are some of Vincent van Gogh quotes on the subject:

“Sometimes, dear brother, I know so well what I want. I am quite able to do without God, both in my life and in my painting, but what I cannot do without, unwell as I am, is something greater than myself, which is my life, the power to create.”

“Life itself, too, is forever turning an infinitely vacant, dispiriting blank side towards man on which nothing appears, any more than it does on a blank canvas.”

“But no matter how vacant and vain, how dead life may appear to be, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, who knows something, will not be put off so easily.”

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

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

Vincent van Gogh quotes about life

“To suffer without complaint is the only lesson we have to learn in this life.”

“As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.”

“I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting, but I cannot, suffering as I am, do without something which is greater than I, which is my life, the power to create.”

“And the memories of all we have loved stay and come back to us in the evening of our life. They are not dead but sleep, and it is well to gather a treasure of them.”

“The victory one would gain after a whole life of work and effort is better than one that is gained sooner.”

Vincent van Gogh quotes about love

Few artists are as associated with love and heartbreak as Vincent van Gogh. The Dutch post-Impressionist was known for his intense and sometimes tumultuous relationships with the women in his life. He also had a deep understanding of the human heart, which is reflected in his art and writings. Here are some of Vincent van Gogh quotes about love:

“Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy.”

“In every creature there is a God-given desire for happiness.”

“I will not live without love.”

“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”

“The more you love, the more you suffer.”

Vincent van Gogh quotes about love

“If only one keeps loving faithfully what is truly worth loving and does not squander one’s love on trivial and insignificant and meaningless things then one will gradually obtain more light and grow stronger.”

“I am still far from thinking that one must resign oneself to not loving. I think that one must go on trying all one’s life to be good and kind, and make up for being so weak.”

“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

“There is no greater happiness for a man than to know that he has done what he could.”

“Those who love much, do much and accomplish much, and whatever is done with love is done well. Love is the best and noblest thing in the human heart, especially when it is tested by life as gold is tested by fire.

Vincent van Gogh quotes about art

Van Gogh was also a prolific writer and thinker. He wrote hundreds of letters to his family and friends, and his thoughts on art are scattered throughout these writings. Here are some of the most insightful Vincent van Gogh quotes about art:

“I cannot help thinking that we must not take our art too seriously.”

“The role of the artist is to not look for answers in life but to find questions.”
This quote encapsulates van Gogh’s view on the purpose of art. For him, art was not about didactic or moralistic messages. Instead, it was about raising questions and provoking thought.

“Art must be life-enhancing and must take its place alongside all other human activities as an essential component of our existence.”
This quote speaks to the idea that art is not separate from life, but rather an integral part of it. For van Gogh, art was not something to be admired from a distance; it was something that should be experienced firsthand and actively engaged with.

“Art must be something that makes you breath with a different kind of happiness.”

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

Vincent van Gogh quotes about art

“Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing.”

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

“We spent our whole lives in unconsous excercise of the art of expressing our thoughts with the help of words.”

“How rich art is, if one can only remember what one has seen, one is never empty of thoughts or truly lonely, never alone.”

“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 quotes about passion

Van Gogh’s passion for art was matched by his intensity of feeling. He believed that great art required complete commitment and often spoke about the need to sacrifice everything for one’s work. Read some of Vincent van Gogh quotes about passion:

“What would life be worth without thought and passion?”
For van Gogh, passion was at the heart of what it meant to be an artist.

“I am looking for a deeper meaning in things, and I believe that it exists in everything.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

Vincent van Gogh quotes about passion

“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. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion.”

“I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate.”

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

“There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.”

“I am not an abstainer and I do not recommend anyone to be one either. Abstention from life is the same as suicide.”

Vincent van Gogh quotes about nature

In addition to his iconic paintings, he also left behind a legacy of quotes about nature that still resonate today. Here are just a few of Vincent van Gogh’s quotes about nature that will inspire you to see the world in a new light.

“If one loves nature one finds beauty everywhere.”

“I find myself more and more relying for a kind of meaning on the simple facts of nature.”

“If you work with love and intelligence, you develop a kind of armour against people’s opinions, just because of the sincerity of your love for nature and art. Nature is also severe and, to put it that way, hard, but never deceives and always helps you to move forward.”

“Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.”

“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 quotes about nature

“For me, Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye…it also includes the inner world of the mind.”
For van Gogh, beauty was more than skin deep. It was something that came from within and was reflected in everything he did. And when you appreciate the beauty around you, it brings joy into your life.

“I find myself more and more relying on nature to speak to me through her silent works.”

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”

“We need more than ever to give ourselves to Nature and surrender our egos to it.”

“To try to understand the real significance of what the great artists, the serious masters, tell us in their masterpieces, we owe it to ourselves to read them in nature.”

Vincent van Gogh quotes about stars

In Vincent van Gogh’s eyes, the stars were a symbol of hope and beauty. One of van Gogh’s most iconic paintings is “Starry Night,” which features a sky full of stars. In honor of him, here are some of his best Vincent van Gogh quotes about stars:

“The earth from afar shines like a star.”

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

“Looking at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots of a map representing towns and villages. Why, I ask myself, should the shining dots of the sky not be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?”

“The lamps are burning and the starry sky is over it all.”

“The starry night is so beautiful that it makes one dream.”

“When I have a terrible need of – shall I say the word – religion, then I go out and paint the stars.”

“Someday death will take us to another star.”

“At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly coloured than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.”

“Look at the stars! Look, look up at the skies!”

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

Final thought

In conclusion, it is evident that Vincent van Gogh was a very wise and insightful man. His quotes are still relevant and relatable today, which is a testament to his genius. If you ever need some inspiration or motivation, be sure to read some of Vincent van Gogh quotes – you won’t be disappointed.

We hope you enjoyed our collection of Vincent van Gogh quotes. Did you find your favorite one? Let us know in the comments below. We certainly enjoyed putting this list together and we hope you got something out of it as well. If you’re ever feeling down or lost, remember that you’re not alone – even one of the greats felt that way sometimes.

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