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One picture in ten thousand, perhaps, ought to live in the applause of mankind, from generation to generation until the colors fade and blacken out of sight or the canvas rot entirely away.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Marble Faun
(bk. II, ch. XII)
There are pictures by Titian so steeped in golden splendors, that they look as if they would light up a dark room like a solar lamp.
- George Stillman Hillard
Well, something must be done for May,
The time is drawing nigh--
To figure in the Catalogue,
And woo the public eye.
Something I must invent and paint;
But oh my wit is not
Like one of those kind substantives
That answer Who and What?
- Thomas Hood, The Painter Puzzled
He paints a dolphin in the woods, a boar in the waves.
[Lat., Delphinum sylvis appingit, fluctibus aprum.]
- Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
Ars Poetica (XXX)
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.
- Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson,
Memoirs and Essays--Washington Allston
I only feel, but want the power to paint.
[Lat., Nequeo monstrare et sentio tantum.]
- Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, Because I am the person I know best.
- Frida Kahlo
The only good copies are those which exhibit the defects of bad originals.
- Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Maxims
Ah, would we could at once paint with the eyes! In the long way, from the eye through the arm to the pencil, how much is lost!
- Ephraim Gotthold Lessing
The picture that approaches sculpture nearest
Is the best picture.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Michael Angelo
(pt. II, 4)
Vain is the hope by colouring to display
The bright effulgence of the noontide ray
Or paint the full-orb'd ruler of the skies
With pencils dipt in dull terrestrial dyes.
- William Mason, Fresnoy's Art of Painting
Whoever wishes to devote himself to painting should begin by cutting out his own tongue.
- Henri Matisse
I mix them with my brains, sir.
- John Opie ("The Cornish Wonder"),
answer when asked with what he mixed his colours
I paint a window just as I look out of a window. If a window looks wrong in a picture open, I draw the curtain and shut it, just as I would in my own room. One must act in painting as in life, directly.
- Pablo R. Picasso
Beauty, frail flower that every season fears, blooms in thy colors for a thousand years.
- Alexander Pope
Caracci's strength, Correggio's softer line, Paulo's free course, and Titian's warmth divine.
- Alexander Pope
He best can paint them who shall feel them most.
- Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard
Lely on animated canvas stole
The sleepy eye, that spoke the melting soul.
- Alexander Pope, Second Book of Horace
(ep. I, l. 149)
The fellow mixes blood with his colors.
- Guido Reni (Guido Reni of Rubens),
said of Rubens
In portraits, the grace and, we may add, the likeness consists more in taking the general air than in observing the exact similitude of every feature.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
The first degree of proficiency is, in painting, what grammar is in literature, a general preparation for whatever species of the art the student may afterwards choose for his more particular application. The power of drawing, modelling, and using colors is very properly called the language of the art.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
If it is the love of that which your work represents--if, being a landscape painter, it is love of hills and trees that moves you--if, being a figure painter, it is love of human beauty, and human soul that moves you--if, being a flower or animal painter, it is love, and wonder, and delight in petal and in limb that move you, then the Spirit is upon you, and the earth is yours, and the fullness thereof.
- John Ruskin, The Two Paths (lect. I)
Painting with all its technicalities, difficulties, and peculiar ends, is nothing but a noble and expressive language, invaluable as the vehicle of thought, but by itself nothing.
- John Ruskin, True and Beautiful--Painting
Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend.
- John Singer Sargent,
in Bentley and Esar's "Treasury of Humorous Quotations" (1951)
Look here upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
- William Shakespeare,
Hamlet Prince of Denmark
(Hamlet at III, iv)
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