Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “Vincent van Gogh”

Van Gogh on the Beauty of Sorrow and the Enchantment of Storms, in Nature and in Life
Van Gogh on the Beauty of Sorrow and the Enchantment of Storms, in Nature and in Life

“Oh, there must be a little bit of air, a little bit of happiness, but chiefly to let the form be felt, to make the lines of the silhouette speak. But let the whole be sombre.”

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Vincent van Gogh on the Psychological Rewards of Japanese Art
Vincent van Gogh on the Psychological Rewards of Japanese Art

“You cannot study Japanese art … without becoming much gayer and happier.”

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Nicole Krauss’s Beautiful Letter to Van Gogh on Fear, Bravery, and How to Break the Loop of Our Destructive Patterns
Nicole Krauss’s Beautiful Letter to Van Gogh on Fear, Bravery, and How to Break the Loop of Our Destructive Patterns

“Bravery is always more intelligent than fear, since it is built on the foundation of what one knows about oneself: the knowledge of one’s strength and capacity, of one’s passion.”

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Van Gogh on Principles, Talking vs. Doing, and the Human Pursuit of Greatness
Van Gogh on Principles, Talking vs. Doing, and the Human Pursuit of Greatness

“Principles are good and worth the effort only when they develop into deeds… The great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together.”

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How Van Gogh Found His Purpose: Heartfelt Letters to His Brother on How Relationships Refine Us
How Van Gogh Found His Purpose: Heartfelt Letters to His Brother on How Relationships Refine Us

“Does what goes on inside show on the outside? Someone has a great fire in his soul and nobody ever comes to warm themselves at it, and passers-by see nothing but a little smoke at the top of the chimney.”

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Gauguin’s Stirring First-Hand Account of What Actually Happened the Night Van Gogh Cut off His Own Ear
Gauguin’s Stirring First-Hand Account of What Actually Happened the Night Van Gogh Cut off His Own Ear

“Between two such beings as he and I, the one a perfect volcano, the other boiling too, inwardly, a sort of struggle was preparing.”

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Van Gogh on Heartbreak and Unrequited Love as a Vitalizing Force for Creative Work
Van Gogh on Heartbreak and Unrequited Love as a Vitalizing Force for Creative Work

“Nothing awakens us to the reality of life so much as a true love.”

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Vincent van Gogh on Fear, Taking Risks, and How Making Inspired Mistakes Moves Us Forward
Vincent van Gogh on Fear, Taking Risks, and How Making Inspired Mistakes Moves Us Forward

“However meaningless and vain, however dead life appears, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth … steps in and does something.”

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The Best Biographies, Memoirs, and History Books of 2014
The Best Biographies, Memoirs, and History Books of 2014

Nabokov’s love letters, Shackleton’s courageous journey, the unsung heroes behind creative icons, Joni Mitchell unbound, and more.

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The Fluid Dynamics of “The Starry Night”: How Vincent Van Gogh’s Masterpiece Explains the Scientific Mysteries of Movement and Light
The Fluid Dynamics of “The Starry Night”: How Vincent Van Gogh’s Masterpiece Explains the Scientific Mysteries of Movement and Light

“In a period of intense suffering, Van Gogh was somehow able to perceive and represent one of the most supremely difficult concepts nature has ever brought before mankind.”

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