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Quotes

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

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

—G. K. Chesterton, 1928

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

When we see a natural style we are quite amazed and delighted, because we expected to see an author and find a man.

—Blaise Pascal, c. 1657

Art transcends its limitations only by staying within them.

—Flannery O’Connor, 1964

To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel that discernment is but a hand playing with finely ordered variety on the chords of emotion—a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge. One may have that condition by fits only.

—George Eliot, c. 1872

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

All art is a revolt against man’s fate.

—André Malraux, 1951

Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.

—Frank Zappa, c. 1975

I don’t believe in total freedom for the artist. Left on his own, free to do anything he likes, the artist ends up doing nothing at all. If there’s one thing that’s dangerous for an artist, it’s precisely this question of total freedom, waiting for inspiration and all the rest of it.

—Federico Fellini, c. 1950

Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom.

—Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1480

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