Even if there is endless documentation, it would be impossible to know what a man thought inside his own mind... This is where the novelist's creative imagination has to take over.
Time has a texture. Each period of waiting looms its own design. For Abigail, this one was shot through with golden threads.
No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him.
I wanted the figures to be real and believable so that you would feel that with their very next breath would begin life itself.
Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life.
Inside yourself you're strong. That's the place where strength counts. Strength shows not only in how fast you can chop down trees.
Listen, my friend, all forms that exist in God's universe can be found in the human figure. A man's body and face can tell everything he represents. So how could I ever exhaust my interest in it?
As he reached the door of the chapel and turned back for a last look, he saw that the Virgin too was sad and lonely; the most alone human being God ever put on earth.
I do like to teach. Sitting in my great chair at school, I used to consider myself as some dictator at the head of a commonwealth...To fire a newborn soul with ardor for learning! At that time I thought the world could afford no greater pleasure.'.
Strange story about Degas. He hated women, didn't want to be with them. Yet he spent much of his life painting them. He had seen his father maltreat his mother, must have had a deep fear that he'd do the same thing.
I thought art was dead rabbits hanging by their feet on a wall. I went to Italy and saw all the religious paintings, and they didn't move me all that much. Then someone invited me to see this van Gogh exhibit at the Rosenberg Gallery in San Francisco.
Our secret thoughts - do they ever show up? The small flame of our soul can be burning hot, but no one comes to its warmth. Passersby see only a small whiff going through the chimney. Don't we need to take care of that flame, cherish it and patiently wait until someone will come and sit at it, do we?
There seemed to be that same fierce quest after truth, the same unafraid penetration, the same feeling that character is beauty, no matter how sordid it may appear.
An empty stomach is better than full and grief is better than happiness.
An artist would not rise above the mediocrity if he condemns it.
The maximum value of art is that it allows the artist to express himself.
We...believe that art is religious, because it is one of man's highest aspirations. There is no such thing as pagan art, only good and bad art.
God is imagined as a rich, old gentleman who is very happy that things are going so smooth here on Earth that he had created.
I spend several years trying to get inside the brain and heart of my subjects, listening to the interior monologues in their letters, and when I have to bridge the chasms between the factual evidence, I try to make an intuitive leap through the eyes and motivation of the person I'm writing about.
Reading has always been the largest and most irreplaceable pleasure for Vincent; reading about other people's successes and failures, joys and sufferings seemed to bury his own failures.
And rout the magical mystical moonlight with fierce proof of its own greater power to light, to heat, to make everything known.
Sometimes men are generous and forgiving, sometimes angry and blind.
Misery is the only thing in the world that has no end or edge.
An artist without ideas is a mendicant; barren, he goes begging among the hours.
The simplest things that need self-restraint are the most difficult to replicate.
Art is amoral; so is life. For me there are no obscene pictures or books; there are only poorly conceived and poorly executed ones.
It's pleasant to get used to the expensive, the soft, the comfortable. Once you're addicted, it's so easy to become a sycophant, to trim the sails of your judgment in order to be kept on. The next step is to change your work to please those in power, and that is death to the sculptor.
He had been standing still; for an artist, one of the more painful forms of death.
Pain did curious things to him. It made him sensitive to the pain of others.
The biographical novel is a true and documented story of one human being's journey across the face of the years, transmuted from the raw material of life into the delight and purity of an authentic art form.
Morality is similar to religion - it is a somniferous drug which blinds people from seeing the squalor of their lives.
To try to understand another human being, to grapple for his ultimate depths, that is the most dangerous of human endeavors.
No artist is normal. Who happen to be normal cannot be an artist.
I slept in van Gogh's bed. I worked in the room where he painted. I saw the place where he was cared for when he cut off his ear. I lived in the jail cell where he stayed. And I looked out the window. You remember that picture of the cornfields through the bars? That was what I saw.
The brooding is better than the joy because even if the heart fills with happiness, it still mourns.
A new doctor had been sent for, Lazzaro of Pavia, who had administered to Lorenzo a pulverized mixture of diamonds and pearls. This hitherto infallible medicine had failed to help.