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Quotes

This is a fault common to all singers, that among their friends they will never sing when they are asked; unasked, they will never desist.

—Horace, c. 35 BC

Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.

—W.H. Auden, c. 1940

Modesty is a virtue not often found among poets, for almost every one of them thinks himself the greatest in the world.

—Miguel de Cervantes, 1615

I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do—that was one of my favorite things about it—and when I first did it, I felt perverse.

—Diane Arbus, c. 1950

Everyone should know nowadays the unimportance of the photographic in art—that truth, life, or reality is an organic thing which the poetic imagination can represent or suggest, in essence, only through transformation, through changing into other forms than those which were merely present in appearance.

—Tennessee Williams, 1944

Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

—G. K. Chesterton, 1928

Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.

—Henry David Thoreau, 1852

If a king loves music, there is little wrong in the land.

—Mencius , c. 330 BC

It has always been my practice to cast a long paragraph in a single mold, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen till I had given the last polish to my work.

—Edward Gibbon, c. 1790

We possess art lest we perish of the truth.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1887

Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is a sort of grandchild of God.

—Dante, c. 1315

Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term art, I should call it “the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature through the veil of the soul.” The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of “artist.”

—Edgar Allan Poe, 1849