Quotes About Art | Artist Quotes

Quotes About Art

Following are quotes about art by artists, students, philosophers, and others. They are listed in alphabetical order by the person making the quote.


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"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be."

Abraham Maslo

"The essence of drawing is the line exploring space."

Andy Goldsworthy

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."


"One must from time to time attempt things that are beyond one's capacity."

Auguste Renoir

"Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which Nature herself is animated."

Auguste Rodin

"Art is the signature of civilizations."

Beverly Sills

"What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things... it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface."


"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing."

Camille Pissarro

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere."

Carl Sagan

"There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books."

Charlie Chaplin

"If I didn't think what I was doing had something to do with enlarging the boundaries of art, I wouldn't go on doing it."

Claes Oldenburg

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

Daniel R. Lynch

"I believe it is impossible to make sense of life in this world except through art."

Daniel Pinkwater

"Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things."

Edgar Degas

"Painting is easy for those that do not know how, but very difficult for those that do!"

Edgar Degas

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."

Edgar Degas

"No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination."

Edward Hopper

"Art is literacy of the heart"

Elliot Eisner

"If apple is the language of the future, then art must be the core."

Elliot Eisner

"The artist need not know very much; best of all let him work instinctively and paint as naturally as he breathes or walks."

Emil Nolde

"I am an artist… I am here to live out loud."

Emile Zola

"Art is skill, that is the first meaning of the word."

Eric Gill

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

Eugene Delacroix

"The source of genius is imagination alone, the refinement of the senses that sees what others do not see, or sees them differently."

Eugene Delacroix

"The artist is the antenna of the race."

Ezra Pound

"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery."

Francis Bacon

"Architecture is for the young. If our teenagers don't get architecture -- if they are not inspired, (then) we won't have the architecture that we must have if this country is going to be beautiful."

Frank Lloyd Wright

"You can't make an architect. But you can open the doors and windows toward the light as you see it."

Frank Lloyd Wright

"You see what you know!"

Frank Stella

"They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my reality."

Frida Kahlo

"There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge."

Friedrich Nietzsche

"The function of Art is to disturb. Science reassures."

George Braque

"To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage."

Georgia O'Keeffe

"Still - in a way - nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."

Georgia O'Keeffe

"One day seven years ago I found myself saying to myself -- I can't live where I want to -- I can't go where I want to go--I can't do what I want to -- I can't even say what I want to -- I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to."

Georgia O'Keeffe

"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

"To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and commonsense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken, it will enter the realms of childhood visions and dreams."

Giorgio DeChirico

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

Grandma Moses

"What a society deems important is enshrined in its art"

Harry Broudy

"It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else."

Henri Matisse

"I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me."

Henri Matisse

"I would like to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth when all the world is new to it."

Henri Matisse

"What I dream of is an art of equilibrium, purity and tranquility, devoid of upsetting or troubling subject matter ..."

Henri Matisse

"Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life."

Henry Miller

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

Henry Ward Beecher

"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college- that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"

Howard Ikemoto

"Every good painter paints what he is."

Jackson Pollock

"The painting has a life of its own."

Jackson Pollock

"As music is the poetry of sound, so is painting the poetry of sight and the subject-matter has nothing to do with harmony of sound or of color."

James McNeil Whistler

"An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision."

James McNeill Whistler

"Art should reveal the unknown, to those who lack the experience of seeing it."

Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith

"I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music."

Joan Miro

"The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint... I'd like to pretend that I've never seen anything, never read anything, never heard anything... and then make something... Every time I make something I think about the people who are going to see it and every time I see something, I think about the person who made it... Nothing is important... so everything is important."

Keith Haring

"Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world."

Leonardo da Vinci

"The color of the object illuminated partakes of the color of that which illuminates it."

Leonardo da Vinci

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art."

Leonardo da Vinci

"A good painter has two main objects to paint, man and the intention of his soul. The former is easy, the latter hard as he has to represent it by the attitude and movement of the limbs."

Leonardo da Vinci

"Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind."

Louise Nevelson

"All art is but imitation of nature."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

" Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity."

Mark Rothko

"What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness."

M.C. Escher

"Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing."

Marc Chagall

"Great art picks up where nature ends."

Marc Chagall

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."

Maya Angelou

"A man paints with his brains and not with his hands."

Michelangelo Buonarroti

"A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking."

Michelangelo Buonarroti

"A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it."

Michelangelo Buonarroti

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."

Michelangelo Buonarroti

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

Michelangelo Buonarroti

"Art is the child of imagination and gives life."

Mirka Mora

"Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to create."

Nicole Malebranche

"Imagination is the true magic carpet."

Norman Vincent Peale

"Art is a lie that helps us to realize the truth."

Pablo Picasso

"Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life."

Pablo Picasso

"There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun."

Pablo Picasso

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

Pablo Picasso

"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."

Pablo Picasso

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."

Pablo Picasso

"I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else."

Pablo Picasso

"It takes a very long time to become young."

Pablo Picasso

"What good are computers? They can only give you answers."

Pablo Picasso

"A line is a dot that went for a walk."

Paul Klee

"A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art."

Paul Cézanne

"Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensations."

Paul Cézanne

"What is one to think of those fools who tell one that the artist is always subordinate to nature? Art is a harmony parallel with nature."

Paul Cézanne

"When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art."

Paul Cézanne

"A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places."

Paul Gardner

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."

Paul Gaugin

"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible."

Paul Klee

"I paint in order not to cry."

Paul Klee

"The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract."

Paul Klee

"The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel."

Piet Mondrian

"Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist."

Rene Magritte

"Art is a passion or it is nothing."

Robert Fry

"Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us."

Roy Adzak

"Art doesn't transform. It just plain forms."

Roy Lichtenstein

"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."

Salvador Dali

"Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks."


"I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating...anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us--I think this world would be unlivable without art and I thank you."

Steve Soderbergh

"The big artist...keeps an eye on nature and steals her tools."

Thomas Eakins

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

Thomas Merton

"As a suffering creature, I cannot do without something greater than I --something that is my life -- the power to create."

Vincent Van Gogh

"An artist needn’t be a clergyman or a churchwarden, but he certainly must have a warm heart for his fellow men."

Vincent Van Gogh

"I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people."

Vincent Van Gogh

"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

"I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.' "

Vincent Van Gogh

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

Vincent Van Gogh

"I applied streaks and blobs of colours onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could..."

Wassily Kandinsky

"Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul."

Wassily Kandinsky

"There is no must in art because art is free."

Wassily Kandinsky

"I do not want ART for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few."

William Morris

"There is no such thing as talent. What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous work in the right way."

Winslow Homer


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More Art Quotes

Books on Art Quotes

Quotes on Art and Artists. - Quotes on Art and Artists is both an introduction to the world of art and a celebration of civilzation's greatest artistic creations.

The Mind of the Artist - Thoughts and Sayings of Painters and Sculptors on Their Art.

The Handbook of Artist Quotations. - Over 2400 Quotes from 2000 Years of Art History.



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