On beautiful work that is daydreamed, not done

by look i have opinions

“But when shall I paint the starry heavens?—that picture which is always in my mind? Ah, what the worthy Cyprian says in J. K. Huysmans’ En ménage is very true!—‘The most beautiful pictures are those of which one dreams when one is smoking a pipe in bed but which one never paints.’ And yet one must tackle such pictures, however incompetent one may feel in the presence of the inexpressible perfection and triumphant splendour of nature.”

—Vincent Van Gogh (in a letter translated by Anthony M. Ludovici via Margarete Mauthner and found online here)