You might know his famous paintings but here are 13 quotes from Vincent Van Gogh to touch the core of your being.
Famed for his sunflowers and gigantic paintings of cornfields and crows Vincent Van Gogh’s work has actually sold at auction in 1990 for the staggering sum of $82.5 million. And yet whilst many of us would recognise his paintings and know that he was the artist that cut off his ear few of us know just how deeply Vincent’s life was blighted by poverty, mental illness and psychotic episodes. Goodness knows what he experienced in the psychiatric hospitals of the nineteenth century!
Vincent would succumb to his demons at the tender age of 37yrs when he took his own life. And we might never have known the despair and passion, sensitivity and insight he could so poetically express were it not for the numerous letters that he wrote to his brother, Theo. Not only do these letters explain everything he was trying to achieve in his now famous paintings but they lay bare the misery and dispair he felt at a time in the world when the phrase, mental health matters, never even existed.
Here then are a handful of quotes from these letters that I think are just as relevant today as when Vincent wrote them over 130 years ago. I hope that they stir your soul just as much as they do ours and that during these challenging times they inspire you.
“I wish they would only take me as I am.”
“It’s a pity that as one gains experience, one loses one’s youth.”
“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.”
“I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.”
“Only when I fall do I get up again.”
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
“What is done in love is done well.”
“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars make me dream.”
“Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realising it.”
“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”
“In spite of everything, I shall rise again.”
And most poignantly of all this final quote…which we think is one of the most powerful insight into the complexities of human nature and life with mental health.
“I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric,
such a nobody, has in his heart…
Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness,
pure harmony and music inside me.”
Vincent might not have lived to see his work recognised, but he can teach us all so much about living with passion and pursuing our dreams. And our world is richer not only for his art but also for his wisdom.
Fiona and Gavin
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