80 Notes and Quotes on Art

Art should never be popular.
— Oscar Wilde
Art is the employent of the powers of nature for an end.
— John Stuart Mill
Art is anything you can get away with.
— Marshall McLuhan.
The conscious utterance of thought , by speech or action, to any end, is Art..Form its first to its last works, Art is the spirit’s voluntary use and combination of things to serve its end.
— Emerson
Painting is the intermediate somewhat between a thought and a thing.
— S. T. Coleridge
Art is significant deformity.
— Roger Fry
All art constantly aspires toward the condition of music.
— Walter Pater
To me nature is everything that man is born to, and art it the difference he makes in it.
— John Erskine
Art is thoughtful workmanship.W. R. Lethaby
   Gunter Junghans,  Rabbit


Gunter Junghans, Rabbit

There is no way to success in art but to take off your coat, grind pain, and work like a digger on the railroad, all day and every day.
— Emerson
Art is:-
99% perspiration,
1% inspiration.
— Dave Buss.
Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his picture.
— Henry Ward Beecher
The great artist is a simplifier.
— Amiel
All nature is but art.
— Pope
Nature is usually wrong.
— J. McNeill Whistler
That which takes effect by chance is not an art.
— Seneca
Whatever happens, my audience mustn’t know whether I am spoofing or being serious; and likewise I mustn’t know either. I am in a constant interrogation; when does the deep and philosophically valid Dali begin, and where does the looney and preposterous Dali end?
— Salvador Dali
The artist must know how far to go too far.
— Jean Cocteau
In free society art is not a weapon.......Artists are not engineers of the soul.
— President John F. Kennedy (1963)
Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war, for attack and defense of the enemy. A good painting ought to bristle with razor blades.
— Pablo Picasso
James Reynolds,  March 1

James Reynolds, March 1

All my life I have painted pictures so that certain people would drop dead when they looked at them, but I have not succeeded yet. The worst painting cant hurt you, but a bad driver can kill you, a bad judge can send you to the chair, a bad politician can ruin an entire country, That is why even a bad painting is sacred.
— Man Ray
As my poor father used to say in 1863,
Once people start all this art
Goodbye, moralitee!
— Sir A. P. Herbert
Art is ruled uniquely by the imagination. Images are it’s only wealth. It does not classify objects, it does not pronounce them real or imaginary, does not qualify them does not define them; it feels and presents them.
— Benedetto Groce
The object of art is to give life a shape.
— Jean Anouilh
In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or painter is indistinguishable from any other decent business man.
— Sinclair Lewis
Art is long, life short; judgement difficult, opportunity transient.
— Goethe
The true artist will let his wife starve , his children go barefoot, his other drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art.
— G. Bernard Shaw
Art never expresses anything but itself.
— Oscar Wilde
Venerate Art as art.
— William Hazlitt
Fine Art is that in which the hand, the head and the heart of man go together.
— John Ruskin
Chris Perrett,  Coast Cliff Evening 2

Chris Perrett, Coast Cliff Evening 2

Beauty is truth, truth beauty; that is all Ye know on Earth and all Ye need to know.
— Keats
The unexamined life is not worth living.
— Socrates
The contemplation of things as they are
Without error or confusion
Without substitution or imposture
Is in itself a nobler thing
Than a whole harvest of invention.
— Francis Bacon
When we look at thing, we must examine its essence and treat its appearance merely as an usher at the threshold, we must, once we cross the threshold, grasp the essence of the thing.
— Mao Tse-Tung
Things perfected by nature are better than those finished by art.
— Cicero
For me, a painting is a dramatic action, in the course of which reality finds itself split apart.
For me, that dramatic action takes precedence over all other considerations. The pure plastic act is only secondary as far as I am concerned. What counts is the drama of that plastic act, the moment at which the universe comes out of itself and meets its own destruction.
— Pablo Picasso
The whole of art is an appeal to a reality which is not without us but in our minds.
— Desmond MacCarthy
Alberto Repetti,  Flag's noise

Alberto Repetti, Flag's noise

And what we mean of business should remember is that art, philosophy and religion can and should, in the widest sense of the term, be made to pay. And it’s pay or perish, in this world.
— H. Granville Barker "The Madras House"
He that seeks popularity in art closes the door on his own genius: as he must needs paint for other minds, and not for his own.
— Anna Jameson
Art is not a thing: it is a way.
— Elbert Hubbard
People are quite willing to use objects without looking for any symbolic intention in them, but when they look at paintings they can’t find any use for them. So they hunt around for a meaning to get themselves out of the quandry, and because they don’t understand what they are supposed to think when they confront the painting.......They want something to lean on, so they can comfortable. They want something secure to hang on to , so they can save themselves from the void. People who look for symbolic meanings fail to grasp the inherent poetry and mystery of the image. No doubt they sense this mystery, but they wish to get rid of it. They are afraid. By asking “what does this mean?” they express a wish that everything be understandable. But if one does not reject the mystery, one has quite a different response. One asks other thinks.
— Rene Magritte
Great art is an instant arrested in eternity.
— James Huneker
Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it.
— Samuel Butler
Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
— David Hume Essays
There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram on the hall.
— Cyril Connoly
Tanja Babic,  Composition No 10

Tanja Babic, Composition No 10

Art and religion are, then, two roads by which men escape from circumstance to ecstacy.
— Clive Bell
Let the artist have just enough to eat, and the tools of this trade: ask nothing of him. Materially make the life of the artist sufficiently miserable to be unattractive, and no-one will take to art save those in whom the divine daemon is absolute.
— Clive Bell
Every artists writes his own autobiography.
— Henry Havelock Ellis
We need religion for religions’s sake, morality for morality’s sake and art for art’s sake.
— Victor Cousin
Art is a jealous mistress.
— Emerson
Truth and reality in art begin at the point where the artist ceases to understand what he is doing and capable of doing - yet feels in himself a force that becomes steadily stronger and more concentrated. The arts have a development which comes not only from the individual but also from a whole acquired force, the civilisation which preceded us. One cannot do just anything. A talented artist cannot do whatever he pleases. If he only uses his gifts he would not exist. We are not masters of what we produce. It is imposed on us.
— Henri Matisse (1947)
Prepetual modernness is the measure of merit in every work of art.
— Emerson
I think about sculpture all the time. I work at it for ten to twelve hours a day. I even dream about it. If as a result I was only to produce something that everyone immediately understood I would’t have been thinking very profoundly.
— Henry Moore
As a man may be an artist though he have not his tools about him.
— Thomas Fuller
Exactitude is not truth.
— Henri Matisse
An art can only be learned in the workshop of those who are winning their bread by it.
— Samuel Butler
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
— Emerson
The Attorney-General: “The labour of two days, then, is that for which you ask two hundred guineas!”
Mr. Whistler: “No - I ask it for the knowledge of a lifetime.
— Ruskin
God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.
— Pablo Picasso
Nothing is so poor and melancholy as art that is interested in itself and not in its subject.
— Santayana
The highest problem of every art is, by means of appearances, to produce the illusion of a loftier reality.
— Goethe
Built your art horse-high, pig-tight and bull strong.
— Elbert Hubbard
The secret of life is in art.
— Oscar Wilde
We will glorify war - the only true hygiene of the world - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchist, the beautiful ideas which kill, and the scorn of women. We will destroy museums, libraries, and fight against moralism, feminism, and all utilitarian cowardice.
— From the first futurist manifesto. F. T. Marinetti (1909)
There is no such a dumb poet or a handless painter. The essence of an artist is that he should be articulate.
— Swinburne
Steven Porter,  Untitled

Steven Porter, Untitled

Nothing can come out of an artist that is not in the man.
— H. L. Mencken
Art supplies constantly to contemplation what nature seldom affords in concrete experience - the union of life and peace.
— George Santayana
Scratch an artist and you surprise a child.
— James Huneker
An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.
— George Santayana
Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
— Oscar Wilde
The artist needs no religion beyond his work.
— Elbert Hubbard.
Choice is what separates the artist from the common herd.
— Mordaunt Shairp
All the arts are brothers; each one light to the others.
— Voltaire
He best shall paint them who shall feel them most.
— Pope
A picture is a poem without words.
— Confucious
The picture that approaches sculpture nearest it the best picture.
— Longfellow
Art hath an enemy called ignorance.
— Ben Jonson
Since there is no such thing as absolute rightness and truth, we always pursue the artificial, leading, human truth. We judge and make a truth that excludes other truths. Art plays a formative part in this manufacture of truth.
— Gerhard Richter