Van Gogh found salvation in art and love. Despite the tragedy that followed him throughout his life and led him to an early grave, love gave meaning to life.
"I dream my painting and I paint my dream." –Vincent van Gogh
This phrase perfectly describes Vincent van Gogh, a man whose mind was a tumultuous mixture of torment and poetry. His paintings are known by many, and without a doubt they changed the face of the history of art. If you ask anyone walking down the street who is the best artist in the world, they are bound to mention this Dutch genius. Madness, ripped earlobes, sunflowers, and heartbreak float in our minds when we think of his life. For this young Dutch artist, the biggest source of inspiration and passion was love. This feeling consumed his work, and in repeated occasions he said it was the fuel of life.
At the start of 2016, we all watched the trailer of Loving Vincent, the first fully painted feature film that pays homage to the life of this artist. The film honors the passion of a man who wore candles on his hat so he could paint at night and who showed the world that love is the ultimate driving force and power in life. These quotes by van Gogh give an insight into his belief that love is the most powerful and revolutionary emotion that would give life and meaning to his work.
"I now consider myself to be at the beginning of the beginning of making something serious.”
“Occasionally, in times of worry, I’ve longed to be stylish, but on second thought I say no —just let me be myself— and express rough, yet true things with rough workmanship.”
“As you can see, I am immersing myself in color —I've held back from that until now; and I don't regret it.”
“I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort —and disappointment and perseverance.”
"I’ve never felt a desire (and I don’t believe I ever shall) to bring the public to my work... a certain popularity seems to me the least desirable of things.”
"I haven’t got it yet, but I’m hunting it and fighting for it, I want something serious, something fresh —something with soul in it! Onward, onward."
"The uglier, older, meaner, sicker, poorer I get, the more I wish to take my revenge by doing brilliant color, well arranged, resplendent."
"One can speak poetry just by arranging colors well, just as one can say comforting things in music."
“One must spoil as many canvases as one succeeds with.”
“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”
“I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process.”
“Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.”
“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.' ”
“Let's not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.”
"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.”
“The way to know life is to love many things.”
"Love is eternal –the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and was a good lamp, but now it is shed.”
“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 found salvation in art and love. Despite the tragedy that followed him throughout his life and led him to an early grave, we cannot dismiss the fact that this artist found completion with this volatile and sometimes fickle feeling. Passion and love, what more do you need in life?