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Famous Art Quotations

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"The art of using moderate abilities to advantage wins praise, and often acquires more reputation than actual brilliancy."
by Francois de La Rochefoucauld
"Art is the most passionate orgy within man's grasp."
by Jean Dubuffet
"Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern."
by Alfred North Whitehead
"Art is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end."
by James Joyce
"Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art."
by Kenneth Tynan
"Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth."
by George Sand
"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."
by Paul Gauguin
"Art is an experience, not the formulation of a problem."
by Lindsay Anderson
"Irresponsibility is part of the pleasure of all art; it is the part the schools cannot recognize."
by Pauline Kael
"What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism."
by Octavio Paz
"Nature is inside art as its content, not outside as its model."
by Northrop Frye
"Most works of art, like most wines, ought to be consumed in the district of their fabrication."
by Rebecca West
"All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual."
by Honore De Balzac
"Abstract art: a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered."
by Al Capp
"A work of art that contains theories is like an object on which the price tag has been left."
by Marcel Proust
"The first mistake of Art is to assume that it's serious."
by Lester Bangs
"The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people."
by Norman Mailer
"The effort of art is to keep what is interesting in existence, to recreate it in the eternal."
by George Santayana
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."
by Aristotle
"This grandiose tragedy that we call modern art."
by Salvador Dali
"[Although Ball is considered a pop singer, he's not a total stranger to Gilbert and Sullivan, having played Frederick in the West End mounting of Joe Papp's memorable production of The Pirates of Penzance . But Patience is a different kind of work--much of its humor is highly topical, poking fun at the short-lived Aesthetic movement that flourished among British dilettantes 125 years ago. Will that humor translate to a New York audience in the year 2005?] I think there's absolutely no difference to how we regarded things then and how we regard things now, ... There are still those performers and artists who strike on a new art form or mode that attracts their fans, while the majority of us may be saying, 'I'm sorry, but isn't that The Emperor's New Clothes?' There will always be charlatans who do things just to get acclaim and adulation. So I think it'll speak to an audience as clearly today as it did then."
by Michael Ball
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
by Aristotle
"A man who exposes himself when he is intoxicated, has not the art of getting drunk."
by Samuel Johnson
"A great city, whose image dwells in the memory of man, is the type of some great idea. Rome represents conquest; Faith hovers over the towers of Jerusalem; and Athens embodies the pre-eminent quality of the antique world, Art."
by Benjamin Disraeli
"A great artist is a great man in a great child."
by Victor Hugo
"The best things in life aren't things."
by Art Buchwald
"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."
by Friedrich Nietzsche
"The history of art is the history of revivals"
by Anonymous
"The love of all-inclusiveness is as dangerous in philosophy as in art."
by George Santayana
"The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers."
by James A. Baldwin
"The place is going to be state-of-the art."
by Anonymous
"The person who knows one thing and does it better than anyone else, even if it only be the art of raising lentils, receives the crown he merits. If he raises all his energy to that end, he is a benefactor of mankind and its rewarded as such."
by Og Mandino
"The sinews of art and literature, like those of war, are money."
by Samuel Butler
"The secret of life is in art."
by Anonymous
"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."
by Dorothy Nevill
"The true art of memory is the art of attention."
by Anonymous
"The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; / Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: / It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth."
by Anonymous
"The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life."
by Oscar Wilde
"The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards."
by Anatole France
"There may have been a lot more people downtown. All the vendors in the art fair were extremely pleased."
by Larry Groce
"There is no more difficult art to acquire than the art of observation, and for some men it is quite as difficult to record an observation in brief and plain language."
by William Osler
"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."
by Pablo Picasso
"There is an art of reading, as well as an art of thinking, and an art of writing."
by Isaac Disraeli
"There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible."
by Samuel Johnson
"There is no must in art because art is free"
by Wassily Kandinsky
"They're everything that's wrong with music, ... Out of everything combined, they're everything wrong with culture, and everything wrong with art, and what we think of as art and musical culture - in one family!"
by David LaChapelle
"This is a wonderful way to celebrate an 80th birthday, ... I wanted to be 65 again, but they wouldn't let me - Homeland Security."
by Art Buchwald
"To curb the machine and limit art to handicraft is a denial of opportunity"
by Lewis Mumford
"Time extracts various values from a painter's work. When these values are exhausted the pictures are forgotten, and the more a picture has to give, the greater it is."
by Henri Matisse
"To array a man's will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine."
by Henry Ward Beecher
"We decided to take the one art form that was created in this country -- the Broadway musical -- and celebrate the fact that there have been many gay men who have moved the art form forward since the beginning of the 20th century."
by Jeff Buhrman
"We are very honored to display Chen's representative art pieces to the public."
by Zhang Qing
"We want to stay cutting-edge, we want to pull in the private sector who has the technology and the resources to assist us with ... state-of-the-art equipment we will need to secure the border."
by Jarrod Agen
"What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit."
by John Updike
"Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;/ When thou art old there's grief enough for thee. / Mother's wag, pretty boy, / Father's sorrow, father's joy."
by Robert Greene
"Whatever the movements of the soul, the spirit, the sensibility that are manifested in one's work, and whether the state is one of anguish or even despair, one's art inevitably bears the sign of... this liberation, this sublimation which evokes in us a finished form."
by Frank Martin
"What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself - life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose."
by Willa Cather
"What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish."
by W. H. Auden
"What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only his eyes if he is a painter, or his ears if he is a musician, or a lyre at every level of his heart if he is a poet, or, if he is merely a boxer, only his muscle? On the contrary, he is at the same time a political being, constantly alert to the heartrending, burning, or happy events in the world, molding himself in their likeness."
by Anonymous
"When art dresses in worn-out material it is most easily recognized as art."
by Friedrich Nietzsche
"You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it."
by Art Buchwald
"Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse."
by Winston Churchill
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love"
by Anonymous
"You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul."
by George Bernard Shaw
"Art is not a treasure in the past or an importation from another land, but part of the present life of all living and creating peoples."
by Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible."
by Paul Klee
"Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed."
by William Blake
"Art Bonham was one of the most selfless, caring, giving, thoughtful people I have ever known. Art is one of the people everyone should aspire to be like."
by Ken Harris
"Art begins in imitation and ends in innovation."
by Mason Cooley
"Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before."
by Edith Wharton
"And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? / And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding."
by Anonymous
"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; / And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."
by Anonymous
"But soon I perfected the art of stealth drinking."
by Yancy Butler
"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter."
by Oscar Wilde
"Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea."
by Lou Dorfsman
"Few artists can afford artistic temperament."
by Mason Cooley
"Give me a museum, and I'll fill it."
by Pablo Picasso
"Freedom in art, freedom in society, this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive."
by Victor Hugo
"Honesty is a long lost art form resigned to the archives of famous quotes and a few lone ducks in a pond of hypocrites."
by Travis Hedrick
"He is the greatest artist who has embodied, in the sum of his works, the greatest number of the greatest ideas."
by John Ruskin
"I kind of tied the two together (music and art)."
by Matt Brown
"I say that democracy can never prove itself beyond cavil, until it founds and luxuriantly grows its own forms of art, poems, schools, theology, displacing all that exists, or that has been produced anywhere in the past, under opposite influences."
by Walt Whitman
"I have not written in vain if I have heretofore done anything towards diminishing the reputation of the Renaissance landscape painting."
by John Ruskin
"In choosing a juror, we look for someone who has established credentials, someone who has established themselves as artists, (art) dealers or historians."
by Christopher Payne
"In art there are tears that lie too deep for thought."
by Louis Kronenberger
"In art economy is always beauty."
by Henry James
"It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theaters, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands."
by George Santayana
"In spite of the roaring of the young lions at the Union, and the screaming of the rabbits in the home of the vivisect, in spite of Keble College, and the tramways, and the sporting prints, Oxford still remains the most beautiful thing in England, and nowhere else are life and art so exquisitely blended, so perfectly made one."
by Oscar Wilde
"Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it."
by Anonymous
"Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability."
by William Osler
"Our study provides beginning evidence for the important role art therapy can play in reducing symptoms. Art therapy provides a distraction that allows patients to focus on something positive instead of their health for a time, and it also gives patients something they can control."
by Judith Paice
"Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless."
by Honore de Balzac
"Silence is one great art of conversation."
by Anon.
"Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men."
by Plato
"Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art."
by Virginia Woolf
"Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump."
by Auguste Rodin
"Science is feasible when the variables are few and can be enumerated; when their combinations are distinct and clear. We are tending toward the condition of science and aspiring to do it. The artist works out his own formulas; the interest of science lies in the art of making science."
by Paul Valery
"Pictures and shapes are but secondary objects and please or displease only in the memory."
by Francis Bacon
"That our popular art forms have become so obsessed with sex has turned the U.S.A into a nation of hobbledehoys; as if grown people don't have more vital concerns, such as taxes, inflation, dirty politics, earning a living, getting an education, or keeping out of jail."
by Anita Loos
"Politics is the art of the possible."
by Otto Von Bismarck


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