Friday Filosophy v.01.06.2023
Founder Ron Slee shares quotes from Vincent Van Gogh in Friday Filosophy v.01.06.2023.
Vincent Willem van Gogh (Dutch: 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in Western art history. In a decade, he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. Not commercially successful, he struggled with severe depression and poverty, eventually leading to his suicide at age thirty-seven.
Born into an upper-middle class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet, and thoughtful. As a young man, he worked as an art dealer, often traveling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially; the two kept a long correspondence by letter. His early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant laborer’s, contain few signs of the vivid color that distinguished his later work. In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met members of the avant-garde, including Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who were reacting against the Impressionist sensibility. As his work developed, he created a new approach to still lifes and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter as he developed a style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in the South of France in 1888. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include series of olive trees, wheat fields and sunflowers.
Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor when, in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals, including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet. His depression persisted, and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh is believed to have shot himself in the chest with a revolver, dying from his injuries two days later.
Van Gogh was commercially unsuccessful during his lifetime, and he was considered a madman and a failure. As he only became famous after his suicide, he came to be seen as a misunderstood genius in the public imagination. His reputation grew in the early 20th century as elements of his style came to be incorporated by the Fauves and German Expressionists. He attained widespread critical and commercial success over the ensuing decades, and is remembered as an important but tragic painter whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured artist. Today, Van Gogh’s works are among the world’s most expensive paintings to have ever sold, and his legacy is honoured by a museum in his name, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the world’s largest collection of his paintings and drawings.
- I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.
- Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
- I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
- For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
- I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.
- If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
- I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.
- What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
- I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed.
- The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
- As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.
- 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.
- Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.
- Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy.
- It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent.
- If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.
- 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.
- Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.
The Time is Now.