- Art is born of humiliation.
World Within World (1951) 1907–73 English poet: Stephen Spender
- Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm…an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.
Writers at Work (1967) 3rd series 1915–2005 American novelist: George Plimpton
- I suppose art is the only thing that can go on mattering once it has stopped hurting.
Heat of the Day (1949) 1899–1973 British novelist and short-story writer, born in Ireland:
- The history of art is the history of revivals.
Notebooks (1912) ch. 8 1835–1902 English novelist:
- An artist cannot speak about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.
Newsweek 16 May 1955 1889–1963 French dramatist and film director: in
- Art for art's sake, with no purpose, for any purpose perverts art. But art achieves a purpose which is not its own.
describing a conversation with Crabb Robinson about the latter's work on Kant's aesthetics
Journal intime 11 February 1804; see Cousin 1767–1834 French novelist, political philosopher, and politician:
- Art is vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it.
Degas (1918) 1834–1917 French artist: Paul Lafond
- Simplicity is the greatest glory of art.
Albert Durer: His Life and Works (1869) 1471–1528 German painter and engraver: recalled by Melancthon; William Bell Scott
- I always said God was against art and I still believe it. 1857–1934 English composer: letter to A. J. Jaeger, 9 October 1900
- Art is a jealous mistress.
The Conduct of Life (1860) ‘Wealth’ 1803–82 American philosopher and poet:
- All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography.
Atlantic Monthly December 1965 1920–93 Italian film director: in
- The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; one must sense him everywhere but never see him. 1821–80 French novelist: letter to Mademoiselle Leroyer de Chantepie, 18 March 1857
- In art one is either a plagiarist or a revolutionary.
usually quoted as ‘Art is either plagiarism or revolution’
The Pathos of Distance (1913) 1848–1903 French painter: attributed; James Huneker
- In art the best is good enough.
Italienische Reise (1816–17) 3 March 1787 1749–1832 German poet, novelist, and dramatist:
- The purpose of art is the lifelong construction of a state of wonder. 1932–82 Canadian pianist and composer: commencement address, York University, Toronto, 6 November 1982
- Life is short, the art long.
often quoted as ‘Ars longa, vita brevis’, after Seneca's rendering in De Brevitate Vitae sect. 1
c.460–357 bc Greek physician: Aphorisms sect. 1, para. 1 (tr. W. H. S. Jones); see Chaucer
- Art has to move you and design does not, unless it's a good design for a bus.
Guardian 26 October 1988 1937– British artist: in
- The greater the artist, the greater the doubt; perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.
Time magazine 10 June 1996 1938–2012 Australian writer: in
- We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art. 1843–1916 American novelist: ‘The Middle Years’ (short story, 1893)
- Life being all inclusion and confusion, and art being all discrimination and selection.
The Spoils of Poynton (1909 ed.) 1843–1916 American novelist:
- The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) ch. 5 1882–1941 Irish novelist:
- We know that the tail must wag the dog, for the horse is drawn by the cart;
But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: ‘It's clever, but is it Art?’
1865–1936 English writer and poet: ‘The Conundrum of the Workshops’ (1892)
- Art is the objectification of feeling, and the subjectification of nature.
Mind (1967) vol. 1 1895–1985 American philosopher: in
- Art is a revolt against fate.
Les Voix du silence (1951) 1901–76 French novelist, essayist, and art critic:
- Filling a space in a beautiful way. That's what art means to me.
Art News December 1977 1887–1986 American painter: in
- The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.
Picasso: Fifty Years of his Art (1946) 1881–1973 Spanish painter: Alfred H. Barr Jr.
- We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.
Picasso on Art (1972) ‘Two statements by Picasso’ 1881–1973 Spanish painter: Dore Ashton
- A work of art is good if it has grown out of necessity.
Letters to a Young Poet (1929) 17 February 1903 (tr. R. Snell) 1875–1926 German poet:
- Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.
The Two Paths (1859) Lecture 2 1819–1900 English art and social critic:
- Art for art's sake is an empty phrase. Art for the sake of the true, art for the sake of the good and the beautiful, that is the faith I am searching for. 1804–76 French novelist: letter to Alexandre Saint-Jean, 1872
- Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.
What is Art? (1898) ch. 19 1828–1910 Russian novelist:
- Art, it is said, is not a mirror, but a hammer: it does not reflect, it shapes.
Literature and Revolution (1924) 1879–1940 Russian revolutionary:
- Airing one's dirty linen never makes for a masterpiece.
Bed and Board (1972) 1932–84 French film director:
- Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.
The Writing of Fiction (1925) 1862–1937 American novelist:
- Art never expresses anything but itself.
Intentions (1891) ‘The Decay of Lying’ 1854–1900 Irish dramatist and poet: