Art Quotes - Famous Top 100

Art Quotes

This page contains information about the famous top 100 art quotes in many aspects, such as quotes about creativity, skills, or simply ingenuity. If that's what you're loooking for then this is the place for you. Below you will find a table of the top proverbs we offer, containing the best of the best. Enjoy and make sure to add this page to your favourite section for easy reference in the future.

Art Quotes
Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything..

Eugene Delacroix

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything..

Gustave Flaubert

As a general truth, it is safe to say that any picture that produces a moral impression is a bad picture..

Edmond de Goncourt

As the unity of the modern world becomes increasingly a technological rather than a social affair, the techniques of the arts provide the most valuable means of insight into the real direction of our own collective purposes..

Marshall McLuhan

Bad art is a great deal worse than no art at all..

Oscar Wilde

Bad artists always admire each other's work. They call it being large-minded and free from prejudice. But a truly great artist cannot conceive of life being shown, or beauty fashioned, under any conditions other than those he has selected..

Oscar Wilde

Beauty in art is often nothing but ugliness subdued..

Jean Rostand

Becomes a living mould,.

But the one thing you should. not do is to suppose that when something is wrong with the arts, it is wrong with the arts ONLY..

Ezra Pound

By the work one knows the workman..

Jean de La Fontaine

Caricature is rough truth..

George Meredith

Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion..


Classic art was the art of necessity: modern romantic art bears the stamp of caprice and chance..

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Contrary to popular belief an artist is never ahead of his time, but most people are far behind theirs..

Edward Varese

Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem..


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep..

Scott Adams

Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs..

Tom Wolfe

Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence..

Henri Matisse

Drawing is speaking to the eye; talking is painting to the ear..

Joseph Joubert

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad..

Salvador Dali

Each of the arts whose office is to refine, purify, adorn, embellish and grace life is under the patronage of a muse, no god being found worthy to preside over them..

Eliza Farnham

Even a true artist does not always produce art..

Carroll O'Connor

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures..

Henry Ward Beecher

Every artist was first an amateur..

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every artist writes his own autobiography..

Havelock Ellis

Every artist writes his own autobiography..

Henry Ellis

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up..

Pablo Picasso

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression..

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Every garden-maker should be an artist along his own lines. That is the only possible way to create a garden, irespective of size or wealth..


Every good painter paints what he is..

Jackson Pollock

Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity..

Daniel Barenboim

Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product..

Edward Steichen

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter..

Oscar Wilde

Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul..

W. Somerset Maugham

Every time a student walks past a really urgent, expressive piece of architecture that belongs to his college, it can help reassure him that he does have that mind, does have that soul..

Louis Kahn

Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend..

John Singer Sargent

Experiment is necessary in establishing an academy, but certain principles must apply to this business of art as to any other business which affects the artistic tic sense of the community. Great art speaks a language which every intelligent person can understand. The people who call themselves modernists today speak a different language..

Robert Menzies

Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse..

Francis Bacon

Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together..

John Ruskin

For us artists there waits the joyous compromise through art with all that wounded or defeated us in daily life; in this way, not to evade destiny, as the ordinary people try to do, but to fulfil it in its true potential --the imagination..

Lawrence Durrell

Fortunately art is a community effort - a small but select community living in a spiritualized world endeavoring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh..

Allen Ginsberg

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas..


Give me a museum and I'll fill it..

Pablo Picasso

Give me a museum, and I'll fill it..

Pablo Picasso

Good art can not be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise..


Good art however immoral is wholly a thing of virtue. Good art can NOT be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise..

Ezra Pound

Good painters imitate nature, bad ones spew it up..

Miguel de Cervantes

Great art is never produced for its own sake. It is too difficult to be worth the effort..

George Bernard Shaw

Great art is the contempt of a great man for small art..

Source Unknown

Great art picks up where nature ends..

Marc Chagall

He bores me. He ought to have stuck to his flying machine. On Leonardo Da Vinci.

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Humanity is the rich effluvium, it is the waste and the manure and the soil, and from it grows the tree of the arts..

Ezra Pound

I always try to balance the light with the heavy - a few tears of human spirit in with the sequins and the fringes..

Bette Midler

I can't tell you what art does and how it does it, but I know that often art has judged the judges, pleaded revenge to the innocent and shown to the future what the past suffered, so that it has never been forgotten.....

John Berger, Miners, exhibition catalogue, 1989; in Keeping a Rendezvous, 1992.

I can't work without a model. I won't say I turn my back on nature ruthlessly in order to turn a study into a picture, arranging the colors, enlarging and simplifying; but in the matter of form I am too afraid of departing from the possible and the true..

Vincent van Gogh

I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don't need..

Auguste Rodin

I cry out for order and find it only in art..

Helen Hayes

I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait..

Salvador Dali

I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things..

Henri Matisse

I don't think one can accurately measure the historical effectiveness of a poem; but one does know, of course, that books influence individuals; and individuals, although they are part of large economic and social processes, influence history. Every mass is after all made up of millions of individuals..


I don't think there's any artist of any value who doesn't doubt what they're doing..

Francis Ford Coppola

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art..

Carrie Fisher

I don't want to be interesting. I want to be good..

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream..

Vincent van Gogh

I feel there are two people inside me -- me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely..


I find working with glass meditative, almost therapeutic. I can leave the world behind, and focus... The simplicity of form, the drama of rich, intense colour, the joy of challenge, and the challenge of endurance... The piece, when it is over, is not what is made, but how it is made..


I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for..

Georgia O'Keeffe

I have been no more than a medium, as it were..

Henri Matisse

I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face..

John Ruskin

I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me..

Roy Lichtenstein

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain..


I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day..

Vincent van Gogh

I paint objects as I think them not as I see them..

Pablo Picasso

I paint things as they are. I don't comment. I record..

Henri De Toulouse Lautrec

I paint with shapes..

Alexander Calder

I remember being handed a score composed by Mozart at the age of eleven. What could I say? I felt like de Kooning, who was asked to comment on a certain abstract painting, and answered in the negative. He was then told it was the work of a celebrated monkey. 'That's different. For a monkey, it's terrific.'.

Igor Stravinsky, "London Magazine", March, 1967

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free..

Michelangelo Buonarroti

I see little of more importance to the future of our country and of civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him..

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I sometimes wonder if the hand is not more sensitive to the beauties of sculpture than the eye. I should think the wonderful rhythmical flow of lines and curves could be more subtly felt than seen. Be this as it may, I know that I can feel the heart-throbs of the ancient Greeks in their marble gods and goddesses..

Helen Keller, The Story of My Life, pt. 1, ch. 22, 1903

I think an artist's responsibility is more complex than people realize..

Jodie Foster

If a patron buys from an artist who needs money (needs money to buy tools, time, food), the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world; he creates..

Ezra Pound

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him..

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens..

Grandma Moses

If I spit, they will take my spit and frame it as great art..

Pablo Picasso

If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay -- in solid cash -- the tribute which philistinism owes to culture, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners. Let us thank heaven for hypocrisy..

Aldous Huxley

If that's art, I'm a Hottentot!.

Harry S Truman

If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He's not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people, he's really needed..

David Hockney

If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye..

Honore de Balzac

If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye..

Honore de Balzac

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it..

Anais Nin

If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced..

Vincent Van Gogh

I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning..

Andy Warhol

I'm still an artist. I'm never gonna do a shit movie, because I've got my modeling to support me..

Milla Jovovich

Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal..

Lionel Trilling

In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it..

Ernst Fischer

In a very ugly and sensible age, the arts borrow, not from life, but from each other..

Oscar Wilde

In art as in love, instinct is enough..

Anatole France

In art the best is good enough..

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In art there are tears that lie too deep for thought..

Louis Kronenberger

In art, all who have done something other than their predecessors have merited the epithet of revolutionary; and it is they alone who are masters..

Paul Gauguin

In art, one idea is as good as another. If one takes the idea of trembling, for instance, all of a sudden most art starts to tremble. Michelangelo starts to tremble. El Greco starts to tremble. All the Impressionists start to tremble..

Willem de Kooning

In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine..

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In free society art is not a weapon. Artists are not engineers of the soul..

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

In old times men used their powers of painting to show the objects of faith, in later times they use the objects of faith to show their powers of painting..

John Ruskin

In order for the artist to have a world to express he must first be situated in this world, oppressed or oppressing, resigned or rebellious, a man among men..

Simone de Beauvoir

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 picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman..

Sinclair Lewis

Inside you there's an artist you don't know about. He's not interested in how things look different in moonlight..


Irresponsibility is part of the pleasure of all art; it is the part the schools cannot recognize..

Pauline Kael

Is there not an art, a music, and a stream of words that shalt be life, the acknowledged voice of life?.

William Wordsworth

It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work..

Henry Moore

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process..

Henry James

It is either easy or impossible..

Salvador Dali

It is impossible to give a clear account of the world, but art can teach us to reproduce it --just as the world reproduces itself in the course of its eternal gyrations. The primordial sea indefatigably repeats the same words and casts up the same astonished beings on the same sea-shore..

Albert Camus

It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it's a painting, and if you can walk around it it's a sculpture..

Source Unknown

It is not in life, but in art that self-fulfillment is to be found..

George E. Woodberry

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures..

Vincent van Gogh

It is only after years of preparation that the young artist should touch color - not color used descriptively, that is, but as a means of personal expression..

Henri Matisse

It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art..

Oscar Wilde

It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block..

Paul Gauguin

I've been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good..

Barbra Streisand

I've been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black..

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Labor is the beginning, the middle, and the end of art..

Source Unknown

Laying out grounds may be considered a liberal art, in some sort like poetry and painting..


Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal..

Igor Stravinsky

Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life..

Oscar Wilde

Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum..

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Living gives you a better understanding of life. I would hope that my characters have become deeper and more rounded personalities. Wider travels have given me considerably greater insight into how cultural differences affect not only people, but politics and art..


Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind..

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art..

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling..

Gilbert K. Chesterton

Making social comment is an artificial place for an artist to start from. If an artist is touched by some social condition, what the artist creates will reflect that, but you can't force it..

Bella Lewitzky

Many bad artists will tell you that art is life. There's a subtle difference however. You can turn your back on art.

Source Unknown

Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea..

John Ciardi

Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves they have a better idea..

John Ciardi

Modern pictures are, no doubt, delightful to look at. At least, some of them are. But they are quite impossible to live with; they are too clever, too assertive, too intellectual. Their meaning is too obvious, and their method too clearly defined. One.

Oscar Wilde

Most works of art, like most wines, ought to be consumed in the district of their fabrication..

Rebecca West

Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist..

Franz Liszt

Much of modern art is devoted to lowering the threshold of what is terrible. By getting us used to what, formerly, we could not bear to see or hear, because it was too shocking, painful, or embarrassing, art changes morals..

Susan Sontag

My hand is the extension of the thinking process - the creative process..

Tadao Ando

My imagination can picture no fairer happiness than to continue living for art..

Clara Schumann

My inspiration is ART. . . Because without ART we would just be stuck with reality. .

Daniel Robert Lynch

My love of fine art increased - the more of it I saw, the more of it I wanted to see..

Paul Getty

My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope." Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso..

Pablo Picasso

My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso..


My painting does not come from the easel..

Jackson Pollock

Nature is a revelation of God; Art a revelation of man..

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Nature is inside art as its content, not outside as its model..

Northrop Frye

New arts destroy the old..

Ralph Waldo Emerson

No art can be noble which is incapable of expressing thought, and no art is capable of expressing thought which does not change..

John Ruskin

No great artist ever sees things as they really are, if he did he would cease to be an artist..

Oscar Wilde

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist..

Oscar Wilde

No heirloom of humankind captures the past as do art and language..

Theodore Bikel

No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money..

Samuel Johnson

No one should drive a hard bargain with an artist..

Ludwig van Beethoven

No sketches first, no studies, that.

Robert Browning, The Faultless Painter (Andrea del Sarto, l. 78, Men and Women, vol. 2), 1855

Not even the visionary or mystical experience ever lasts very long. It is for art to capture that experience, to offer it to, in the case of literature, its readers; to be, for a secular, materialist culture, some sort of replacement for what the love of god offers in the world of faith..

Salman Rushdie

Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs..

Ansel Adams

Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words..

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it "creative observation." Creative viewing..


Nothing is more the child of art than a garden..


Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm..

Robert Alexander Schumann

O, had I but followed the arts!.

William Shakespeare

Of all lies, art is the least untrue..

Gustave Flaubert

Of all the arts in which the wise excel, nature's chief masterpiece is writing well..

Duke of Buckingham

Often while reading a book one feels that the author would have preferred to paint rather than write; one can sense the pleasure he derives from describing a landscape or a person, as if he were painting what he is saying, because deep in his heart he would have preferred to use brushes and colors..

Pablo Picasso

One must be a living man and a posthumous artist..

Jean Cocteau

One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is when we see its separate forms jumbled together..

Johann von Goethe

One thing that makes art different from life is that in art things have a shape... it allows us to fix our emotions on events at the moment they occur, it permits a union of heart and mind and tongue and tear..

Marilyn French

Only an artist can interpret the meaning of life..


Only conservatives believe that subversion is still being carried on in the arts and that society is being shaken by it. Advanced art today is no longer a cause --it contains no moral imperative. There is no virtue in clinging to principles and standards, no vice in selling or in selling out..

Harold Rosenberg

Our natures are a lot like oil, mix us with anything else, and we strive to swim on top..

Joan Rivers

Painting does not come from intelligence so much, as from sight and feeling and invention..


Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion..

Vincent van Gogh

Painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh..

Georges Rouault

Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality..

Salvador Dali

Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do..

Edgar Degas

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary..

Pablo Picasso

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary..

Pablo Picasso

Painting is silent poetry and poetry spoken, painting..


Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic..

Ambrose Bierce

Patron: One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery..

Samuel Johnson

People whose understanding and taste in literature, painting, and music are beyond question are, for the most part, ignorant of what is good or bad art in the theater..

Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Fiske: Her Views on Actors, Acting and the Problems of Production, ch. 1, by Alexander Woollcott (1917)

Perpetual modernness is the measure of merit in every work of art..

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Personality is everything in art and poetry..

Johann von Goethe

Personality is everything in art and poetry..

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art..

Ambrose Bierce

Photography is a major force in explaining man to man..

Edward Steichen

More Art quotes here: Art Quotes 1 and Art Quotes 3.

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