Van Gogh age 13

Vincent van Gogh

30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890

Place of birth: Zundert, Netherlands

Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers

Most important work: His self portraits, his 1888 work Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, and of course his 1889 painting, The Starry Night.

Interesting facts:

  • Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime
  • It is known that he cut off his own ear, but two German historians claim that painter Vincent van Gogh lost his ear in a fight with his friend, the French artist Paul Gauguin.
  • There were no confirmed photographs portraying Van Gogh as an adult, until a recently discovered group photo that features the artist along with other famous painters and writers.

1887 melanotype showing Emile Bernard (second from the left), Vincent van Gogh (third from the left), André Antoine (standing at center), and Paul Gauguin (far right) in a group photo


 Our 23 favorite Van Gogh quotes:


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

2. “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.”

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


4. “If you hear a voice within you saying, ”You are not a painter,” then by all means paint… and that voice will be silenced.”

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

6. “How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?”

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

8. “There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”

9. “Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence

10. “Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.”

11. “The way to know life is to love many things.”

12. “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people”

13. “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

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

15. “I wish they would only take me as I am.”


16. “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.”

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

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

20. “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.”

21. “One must spoil as many canvases as one succeeds with.”

22. “I consciously choose the dog’s path through life. I shall be poor; I shall be a painter…”

23. “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”



Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, 1887/88


Self-Portrait, 1889


Self-portrait, 1889


Self-portrait without beard, 1889


The Starry Night, 1889