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Paul Gauguin Quotes



Quotes by Paul Gauguin - (82 quotes)

Paul Gauguin - From the Abstraction category:

Do not copy nature too much. Art is an abstraction. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Aging category:

Soon I'll be old and I've done precious little in this world for lack of time. I am always afraid I'll become senile before I've finished what I've undertaken. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Art category:

Art = a mad search for individualism. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Art category:

Art is either plagiarism or revolution. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Artists category:

The great artist is a formulation of the greatest intelligence: he is the recipient of sensations which are the most delicate and consequently the most invisible expressions of the brain. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Beauty category:

There are two sorts of beauty; one is the result of instinct, the other of study. A combination of the two, with the resulting modifications, brings with it a very complicated richness, which the art critic ought to try to discover. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Beginning category:

Without delay I began work, without hesitation and all of a fever. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Colour category:

-on Vincent Van Gogh...
Oh yes! He loved yellow, did good Vincent... When the two of us were together in Arles, both of us insane, and constantly at war over beautiful colors, I adored red; where could I find a perfect vermilion? (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Colour category:

Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Colour category:

Color which, like music, is a matter of vibrations, reaches what is most general and therefore most indefinable in nature: its inner power... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Colour category:

If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Colour category:

It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Comprehension category:

Sometimes people accuse me of being incomprehensible only because they look for an explicative side to my pictures which is not there. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Confidence category:

The landscape with its violent, pure colours dazzled and blinded me. I was always uncertain... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Copying category:

Out in the sun, some painters are lined up. The first is copying nature, the second is copying the first, the third is copying the second... You see the sequence. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Courage category:

Why did I hesitate to put all this glory of the sun on my canvas? (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Courage category:

I begin to feel an enormous need to become savage and to create a new world. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Critics category:

A critic is someone who meddles with something that is none of his business. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Critics category:

Slyly, banteringly, but also overbearingly, the critic – the one who does not swallow anything whole, who waits until posterity has consecrated it before... howling – is among those who howl their admiration the way they howl their insults: don't be afraid, don't tremble – the beast doesn't have any nails or teeth, or even brain: it is stuffed... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Determination category:

However depressed I may be I am not in the habit of giving up a project without having tried everything, even the 'impossible', to gain my end. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Doubt category:

What still concerns me the most is: am I on the right track, am I making progress, am I making mistakes in art? (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Drawing category:

A critic at my house sees some paintings. Greatly perturbed, he asks for my drawings. My drawings! Never! They are my letters, my secrets. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Dreams category:

Seek art and abstraction in nature by dreaming in the presence of it... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Fantasy category:

I'd like to write the way I do my paintings, that is, as fantasy takes me, as the moon dictates. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Finishing category:

Do not finish your work too much. An impression is not sufficiently durable for its first freshness to survive a belated search for infinite detail; in this way you let the lava grow cool... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Fire category:

How to re-light the fire the very ashes of which are scattered? (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Freedom category:

All the joys – animal and human – of a free life are mine. I have escaped everything that is artificial, conventional, customary. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Future category:

Whatever may happen the sun will rise tomorrow as it rose to-day, beneficent and serene. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Future category:

I have come to an unalterable decision – to go and live forever in Polynesia. Then I can end my days in peace and freedom, without thoughts of tomorrow and this eternal struggle against idiots. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Gender category:

Thanks to our cinctures and corsets we have succeeded in making an artificial being out of woman... we take away from her possibilities of development. Thus modeled... our women have nothing in common with us, and this, perhaps, may not be without grave moral and social disadvantages. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Greatness category:

In matters of art one's state of mind is three-quarters of what counts, so it has to be carefully nurtured if you want to do something great and lasting. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Happiness category:

Happiness and work rose up together with the sun, radiant like it. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Impotence category:

Lacking many of the essential implements, it irritated me to be reduced to impotence in the face of artistic projects to which I had passionately given myself. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Instinct category:

-on a Tahitian queen...
With the beautiful instinct of her race she dispersed grace everywhere about her, and made everything she touched a work of art. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Life category:

Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Light category:

Look closely at the Japanese; they draw admirably and yet in them you will see life outdoors and in the sun without shadows... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Light category:

Oh mysterious world of all light, thou hast made a light shine within me, and I have grown in admiration of thy antique beauty, which is the immemorial youth of nature. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Masters category:

Follow the masters! But why should one follow them? The only reason they are masters is that they didn't follow anybody! (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Masters category:

In art, all who have done something other than their predecessors have merited the epithet of revolutionary; and it is they alone who are masters. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Mediocrity category:

There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Memory category:

It is better to paint from memory, for thus your work will be your own... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Models category:

It is well for young men to have a model, but let them draw the curtain over it while they are painting. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Models category:

I was aware that on my skill as a painter would depend the physical and moral possession of the model... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Moderation category:

There is no such thing as exaggerated art. I even believe that there is salvation only in extreme. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Money category:

My God! How terrible these money questions are for an artist! (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Mysteries category:

If instead of a figure you put the shadow only of a person, you have found an original starting point, that strangeness of which you have calculated. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Mysteries category:

Oh mysterious world... I have become better for having understood and having loved thy human soul – a flower which has ceased to bloom and whose fragrance no one henceforth will breathe. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Nature category:

A bit of advice, don't copy nature too closely. Art is an abstraction; as you dream amid nature, extrapolate art from it and concentrate on what you will create as a result. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Nature category:

I plunged eagerly and passionately into the wilderness, as if in the hope of thus penetrating into the very heart of this Nature, powerful and maternal, there to blend with her living elements. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Nature category:

Wherever I go I need a period of incubation so that I may learn the essence of nature, which never wishes to be understood or yield herself. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Nudes category:

A nude by Degas is chaste. But his women wash in tubs!... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Observation category:

I made a promise to keep a watch over myself, to remain master of myself, so that I might become a sure observer. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Painting category:

In painting one must search rather for suggestion than for description, as is done in music. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Peace category:

Having the certitude of a succession of days... equally free and beautiful, peace descends on me. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Perfection category:

-exasperated by certain people's photographic and inane perfection, according to Vincent Van Gogh (in letter #805)...
...for Christ's sake, were the mountains blue, then chuck on some blue and don't go telling me that it was a blue a bit like this or like that, it was blue wasn't it? Good - make them blue and that's enough! (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Philosophy category:

Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty? (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Photography category:

Do you know what will soon be the ultimate in truth? – photography, once it begins to reproduce colors, and that won't be long in coming. And yet you want an intelligent man to sweat for months so as to give the illusion he can do something as well as an ingenious little machine can! (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Plagiarism category:

If I did what has already been done, I would be a plagiarist and would consider myself unworthy; so I do something different and people call me a scoundrel. I'd rather be a scoundrel than a plagiarist! (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Poetry category:

Literary poetry in a painter is something special, and is neither illustration nor the translation of writing by form. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Progress category:

Go on working, freely and furiously, and you will make progress. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Recognition category:

Sooner or later people will learn to recognize your worth – if you have any. Above all, don't sweat over a painting; a great sentiment can be rendered immediately. Dream on it and look for the simplest form in which you can express it. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Religion category:

They dream, they love, they sleep, they sing, they pray, and it seems that Christianity has not yet penetrated to this place. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Renewal category:

The cyclone ends. The sun returns; the lofty coconut trees lift up their plumes again; man does likewise. The great anguish is over; joy has returned; the sea smiles like a child. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Sacrifice category:

Poor artist! You gave away part of your soul when you painted the picture which you are now trying to dispose of. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Satisfaction category:

The critics can say stupid things and we can enjoy them, if we have the legitimate feeling of superiority – the satisfaction of a duty accomplished. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Seeing category:

I shut my eyes in order to see. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Shock category:

Today one can dare anything, and, furthermore, nobody is surprised. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Silence category:

Silence! I am learning to know the silence of a Tahitian night. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Simplicity category:

It was so simple to paint things as I saw them; to put without special calculation a red close to a blue. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Solitude category:

It is useless to advise solitude for everyone; one must be strong enough to endure it and to work alone. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Solitude category:

And here in my isolation I can grow stronger. Poetry seems to come of itself, without effort, and I need only let myself dream a little while painting to suggest it. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Suffering category:

I am a great artist and I know it. The reason I am great is because of all the suffering I have done. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Talent category:

Perhaps I have no talent, but all vanity aside – I do not believe that anyone makes an artistic attempt, no matter how small, without having a little – or there are many fools. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Taste category:

Beware of luxury! Beware of acquiring the taste and need for it, under the pretext of providing for the morrow... (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Technique category:

With practice the craft will come almost of itself, in spite of you and all the more easitly if you think of something besides technique. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Time category:

The public wants to understand and learn in a single day, a single minute, what the artist has spent years learning. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Tones category:

On an instrument you start from one tone. In painting you start from several. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Tones category:

There are tonalities which are noble and others which are vulgar, harmonies which are calm or consoling, and others which are exciting because of their boldness. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Tradition category:

Oh! The old European traditions! The timidities of expression of degenerate races! (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Truth category:

I am entering into the truth, into nature. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Work category:

The work of a man is the explanation of the man. (Paul Gauguin)

Paul Gauguin - From the Work category:

-in Tahiti...
Why work? The gods are there to lavish upon the faithful the good gifts of nature. (Paul Gauguin)