June 13, 2024

Art Quotes

 Art Quotes

Art is a universal language that transcends barriers of time, culture, and geography. It encompasses a diverse range of expressions, from paintings and sculptures to literature and music, each offering a unique insight into the human experience. Throughout history, artists, thinkers, and scholars have sought to capture the essence of art in words, resulting in a rich tapestry of quotes that celebrate its power, beauty, and significance. Here are 20 famous quotes about art, accompanied by brief biographies of their authors.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every artist was first an amateur.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.

Thomas Merton

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, and poet. He was a prominent figure in the American Catholic Church.

Pablo Picasso

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer who is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

Edgar Degas

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

Edgar Degas (1834-1917) was a French Impressionist artist known for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings.


“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.”

Michelangelo (1475-1564) was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art.


“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, political activist, and film director known for his distinctive stenciled works of social and political commentary.

Oscar Wilde

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish poet, playwright, and novelist known for his wit, flamboyance, and imprisonment for homosexuality.

Henry Ward Beecher

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

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was a prominent Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker known for his support of the abolition of slavery.

Twyla Tharp

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

Twyla Tharp is an American dancer, choreographer, and author known for her innovative approach to dance and choreography.

G.K. Chesterton

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

G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic known for his wit, paradoxical style, and defense of Christianity.

Theodore Dreiser

“Art is the stored honey of the human soul.”

Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) was an American novelist and journalist known for his naturalistic novels depicting urban life.

Evelyn Waugh

“Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.”

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was an English writer known for his satirical novels, including “Brideshead Revisited” and “Decline and Fall.”

Beverly Sills

“Art is the signature of civilizations.”

Beverly Sills (1929-2007) was an American operatic soprano known for her performances with the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.

Elbert Hubbard

“Art is not a thing; it is a way.”

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher known for his role in the Arts and Crafts movement.

Amit Ray

“Art is the beautiful way of doing things. Science is the effective way of doing things.”

Amit Ray is an Indian author, spiritual master, and peace activist known for his writings on meditation, yoga, peace, and compassion.

Paul Klee

“Art is the lie that tells the truth.”

Paul Klee (1879-1940) was a Swiss-German artist known for his distinctive style influenced by expressionism, cubism, and surrealism.

Leo Tolstoy

“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian writer known for novels such as “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina,” and for his philosophical and religious ideas.

Albert Camus

“Art is the lie through which we tell the truth.”

Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist known for his existentialist and absurdist works, including “The Stranger” and “The Myth of Sisyphus.”

John Cage

“Art should astonish, transmute, transfix.”

John Cage (1912-1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and visual artist known for his avant-garde compositions and contributions to the development of modern music.

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