In the arts the way in which an idea is rendered, and the manner in which it is expressed, is much more important than the idea itself.
To give a body and a perfect form to one's thought, this - and only this - is to be an artist.
I will never, for the future, paint the portrait of a tyrant until his head lies before me on the scaffold.
The artist must be a philosopher. Socrates the skilled sculptor, Jean-Jacques [Rousseau] the good musician, and the immortal Poussin, tracing on the canvas the sublime lessons of philosophy, are so many proofs that an artistic genius should have no other guide except the torch of reason.
If the work is poor, the public taste will soon do it justice. And the author, reaping neither glory nor fortune, will learn by hard experience how to correct his mistakes.
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