Nature is a collective idea, and, though its essence exist in each individual of the species, can never in its perfection inhabit a single object.
Expression alone can invest beauty with supreme and lasting command over the eye.
Our ideas are the offspring of our senses; we are not more able to create the form of a being we have not seen, without retrospect to one we know, than we are able to create a new sense. He whose fancy has conceived an idea of the most beautiful form must have composed it from actual existence.
Emulation embalms the dead; envy, the vampire, blasts the living.
Art, like love, excludes all competition and absorbs the man.
Indiscriminate pursuit of perfection infallibly leads to mediocrity.
All actions and attitudes of children are graceful because they are the luxuriant and immediate offspring of the moment - divested of affectation and free from all pretense.
Ancient art was the tyrant of Egypt, the mistress of Greece and the servant of Rome.
Heaven and earth, advantages and obstacles, conspire to educate genius.
When we idealize the real, we sacrifice to artistic fancy.
The price of excellence is labor, and time that of immortality.
Art among a religious race produces reliques [sic]; among a military one, trophies; among a commercial one, articles of trade.
The superiority of the Greeks seems not so much the result of climate and society, as of the simplicity of their end and the uniformity of their means.
Life is rapid, art is slow, occasion coy, practice fallacious, and judgment partial.
Raffael's drapery is the assistant of character, in Michelangelo it envelopes grandeur; it is in Reubens the ponderous robe of pomp.
Tintoretto attempted to fill the line of Michelangelo with color, without tracing its principle.
Selection is the invention of the landscape painter.
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