Arts

I think the best pictures are often on the edges of any situation, I don't find photographing the situation nearly as interesting as photographing the edges.
~ William Albert Allard, The Photographic Essay (American Photographer Master Series, 1989).

Above all, artists are men who want to become inhuman.
~ Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm-Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky), Les peintres cubistes (1913).

Artists are, above all, men who want to become inhuman.
~ Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm-Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky), The Cubist Painters (1913). On Painting

French painting today is the only school which counts; only it plunders the universe for the logic of the great traditions, only it is full of life.
~ Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm-Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky), The Cubist Painters (1913). On Painting

I hate artists who are not of their time.
~ Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm-Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky), The Cubist Painters (1913). New Painters

To describe the fatal character of contemporary things, the painter uses that most modern recourse -- surprise.
~ Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm-Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky)

Without poets, without artists, men would soon weary of nature's monotony. The sublime idea men have of the universe would collapse with dizzying speed. The order which we find in nature, and which is only an effect of art, would at once vanish. Everything would break up in chaos. There would be no seasons, no civilization, no thought, no humanity; even life would give way, and the impotent void would reign everywhere.
~ Guillaume Apollinaire (Wilhelm-Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky), The Cubist Painters (1913). On Painting

Nature has endowed us with a manifold mechanism of mind which enables us to mold and control imagined emotion to artistic ends.
~ William Archer, Masks or Faces?: A Study in the Psychology of Acting (1888).

The drama is not dead but liveth, and contains the germs of better things.
~ William Archer, About the Theatre: Essays and Studies (1886). The Ethics of Theatrical Criticism

Modern art touches a sore spot, or several sore spots, in the ordinary citizen of which he is totally unaware. The more irritated he becomes at modern art the more he betrays the fact that he himself, and his civilization, are implicated in what the artist shows him.
~ William E. Barrett, Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy (1958).

It is the mysterious that I love in my painting. It is the stillness and the silence. I want my picture to take effect very slowly, to obsess and to haunt.
~ William Baziotes, in It Is (1959). Notes on Painting

However much we would like advertising to be a science -- because life would be simpler that way -- the fact is that it is not. It is a subtle, ever-changing art, defying formularization, flowering on freshness and withering on imitation; where what was effective one day, for that very reason, will not be effective the next, because it has lost the maximum impact of originality.
~ Bill Bernbach, Bill Bernbach said ... (1989).

All pictures that's painted with sense and with thought
Are painted by madmen, as sure as a groat;
For the greater the fool is the pencil more blest,
As when they are drunk they always paint best.
~ William Blake, On Art And Artists (1800). To Venetian Artists

Art is inspiration.
~ William Blake, in The Life of William Blake, Volume I (1863). Chapter XXXVI. Conversation with Crabb Robinson (10 December 1825).

As poetry admits not a letter that is insignificant, so painting admits not a grain of sand, or a blade of grass insignificant -- much less an insignificant blur or mark.
~ William Blake, from A Vision of the Last Judgment (c. 1810).

Empire follows art & not vice versa as Englishmen suppose.
~ William Blake, in The Life of William Blake, Volume I (1863). Notes on Reynolds' Discourses (written c. 1798-1808; aka Annotations to The Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds).

No man can embrace true art until he has explored and cast out false art.
~ William Blake, from Blake's Sequel to his Description of the Picture of the 'Last Judgment' (c. 1810).

Suffer not the fashionable Fools to depress your powers by the prices they pretend to give for contemptible works or the expensive advertizing boasts that they make of such works.
~ William Blake, from Milton, a Poem in 2 Books (1804). Preface

The difference between a bad artist and a good one is, that the bad artist seems to copy a great deal, the good one does copy a great deal.
~ William Blake, in The Life of William Blake, Volume I (1863). Notes on Reynolds' Discourses (written c. 1798-1808; aka Annotations to The Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds).

The human mind cannot go beyond the gift of God, the Holy Ghost. To suppose that Art can go beyond the finest specimens of Art that are now in the world is not knowing what Art is; it is being blind to the gifts of the Spirit.
~ William Blake, in The Life of William Blake, Volume II (1863). Prose Writings. Descriptive Catalogue, Number V (1809)

The man who never in his mind and thought travelled to heaven, is no artist.
~ William Blake, in The Life of William Blake, Volume I (1863). Notes on Reynolds' Discourses (written c. 1798-1808; aka Annotations to The Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds).

Rembrandt painted about 700 pictures -- of these, 3,000 are in existence.
~ Wilhelm Bode

All styles, all manners of all styles are naively fixed in superb unself-consciousness -- which anyhow is just the unique atmosphere in which all the arts can germinate.
~ William Bolitho, from Camera Obscura (1930). 3. Chicago

I accept and respect all schools of painting which have as their basis the sincere study of nature, the search for the true and the beautiful. As for the mystics, the impressionists, the pointillists, etc., I don't see the way they see. That is my only reason for not liking them.
~ William Adolphe Bouguereau

One has to seek Beauty and Truth, Sir! As I always say to my pupils, you have to work to the finish. There's only one kind of painting. It is the painting that presents the eye with perfection, the kind of beautiful and impeccable enamel you find in Veronese and Titian.
~ William Adolphe Bouguereau

All the great craving desires of humanity have been promised and attained through the message of art.
~ William Stanley Braithwaite, in The Crisis magazine (August 1915). Democracy and Art

We find that at almost every stage of its development Democracy has been betrayed by one or another of its idealist professors, except one. ... Art alone has kept her convenant with Democracy.
~ William Stanley Braithwaite, in The Crisis magazine (August 1915). Democracy and Art

You cannot paint the "Mona Lisa" by assigning one dab each to a thousand painters.
~ William F. Buckley, Jr.

England has the most sordid literary scene I've ever seen. They all meet in the same pub. This guy's writing a foreword for this person. They all have to give radio programs, they have to do all this just in order to scrape by. They're all scratching each other's backs.
~ William S. Burroughs, Taped conversation with Victor Bockrism, New York City (1980). Burroughs in London

It is the function of the artist to evoke the experience of surprised recognition: to show the viewer what he knows but does not know that he knows.
~ William S. Burroughs, first published in Kindskopf (1991). Helnwein's work (essay written in 1990)

Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief. ... Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l'originalité, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le sol -- pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.
~ William S. Burroughs, The Adding Machine (1985). Les Voleurs

Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
~ Willa Sibert Cather, from Willa Cather On Writing (1949). Four Letters: Escapism (first published in "Commonweal"; 17 April 1936)

The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.
~ Willa Sibert Cather, from Willa Cather On Writing (1949). Four Letters: Escapism (first published in "Commonweal"; 17 April 1936)

[T]he world has a habit of being in a bad way from time to time, and art has never contributed anything to help matters -- except escape.
~ Willa Sibert Cather, from Willa Cather On Writing (1949). Four Letters: Escapism (first published in "Commonweal"; 17 April 1936)

[W]hat was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself, -- life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose?
~ Willa Sibert Cather, The Song of the Lark (1915). Part IV. The Ancient People. Chapter III

Art is a spiritual triumph.
~ William Ellery Channing (D.D.), in Dr. Channing's Note-book (1887). Art--Genius--Ideals

He ne'er will as an artist shine,
Who copies Nature line by line:
Who'er from nature takes a view,
Must copy and improve it too.
~ William Combe, The Tour of Doctor Syntax, in Search of the Picturesque (1812). Canto 2

Blest be the art that can immortalize.
~ William Cowper, from Poems (1798). On Receipt Of My Mother's Picture (written in 1790)

Made poetry a mere mechanic art
And every warbler has his tune by heart.
~ William Cowper, from Poems by William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq. (1782). Table Talk (written in 1781)

Young children are developing more of an artistic orientation, and the orientation they develop is so naturally graceful and lively that many great artists have said that they constantly try to recapture it.
~ William C. Crain, Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications (1985).

There will never be any real money in those galloping tintypes and certainly no one can expect them to develop into anything which could, by the wildest stretch of the imagination, be called art.
~ William C. de Mille (of movies), Letter to David Belasco (1911).

[A] sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on canvas what is in front of him, but who tries to create something which is a living thing in itself, regardless of its subject.
~ William Dobell, The ABC Weekly (19 February 1944).

[A]ll art is propaganda and ever must be.
~ William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois, in The Crisis magazine, Volume 32 (1926). Criteria of Negro Art

Art without science is poverty, but science without art is barbarism.
~ William James "Will" Durant, The Mansions of Philosophy: A Survey Of Human Life And Destiny (1929).

For even higher than the life of art is the art of life.
~ William James "Will" Durant, The Mansions of Philosophy: A Survey Of Human Life And Destiny (1929).

It is they who create the poetry, the painting, the music and the philosophy of love; and every lover cherishes them.
~ William James "Will" Durant, The Mansions of Philosophy: A Survey Of Human Life And Destiny (1929).

The universe of thought is only one of many worlds; each sense has its own; each art has therefore its characteristic medium, which cannot be translated into speech. Even an artist writes about art in vain.
~ William James "Will" Durant, The Story of Civilization, Volume III (1944). Caesar and Christ

I am afraid that there are more people than I can imagine who can go no further than appreciating a picture that is a rectangle with an object in the middle of it, which they can identify. They don't care what is around the object as long as nothing interferes with the object itself, right in the centre. ... They want something obvious. I am at war with the obvious.
~ William Eggleston, The Democratic Forest (1989). Afterword

He's almost like a folk poet, but he reaches heights of art because of his simplicity. The simple things, the essences, are the great things, but our way of expressing them can be incredibly complex. It's the same thing with technique in music. You try to express a simple emotion -- love, excitement, sadness -- and often your technique gets in the way. ... The great artist gets right to the heart of the matter. His technique is so natural it's invisible or unhearable.
~ Bill Evans (of William Blake), Down Beat Magazine (1960).

An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn't know why they chose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.
~ William Faulkner, Interview in The Paris Review, Issue 12 (Spring 1956). The Art of Fiction No. 12

Art is not only man's most supreme expression; it is also the salvation of mankind.
~ William Faulkner, in Lion In The Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner, 1926-1962 (1968). Interview with Loic Bouvard

By artist I mean of course everyone who has tried to create something which was not here before him, with no other tools and material than the uncommerciable ones of the human spirit.
~ William Faulkner, Address Upon Receiving the National Book Award for Fiction (25 January 1955).

I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express ... But since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better.
~ William Faulkner, Interview in The Paris Review, Issue 12 (Spring 1956). The Art of Fiction No. 12

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move.
~ William Faulkner, Interview in The Paris Review, Issue 12 (Spring 1956). The Art of Fiction No. 12

The artist is still a little like the old court jester. He's supposed to speak his vicious paradoxes with some sense in them, but he isn't part of whatever the fabric is that makes a nation.
~ William Faulkner, in Lion In The Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner, 1926-1962 (1968). Interview with Harvey Breit, 1955

I listen to the voices, and when I put down what the voices say, it's right. Sometimes I don't like what they say, but I don't change it.
~ William Faulkner

The ideal is to be obtained by selecting and assembling in one whole the beauties and perfections which ate usually seen in different individuals.
~ William Fleming, The Vocabulary of Philosophy, Mental, Moral, and Metaphysical (1856).

I have always painted for fun. If it ceased to be fun I would stop painting.
~ William (W.) Russell Flint

[H]ow charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably, and remain fixed upon the paper!
~ (William) Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature (1844). Brief Historical Sketch of the Invention of the Art

I think the year 1839 may fairly be considered as the real date of birth of the Photographic Art, that is to say, its first public disclosure to the world.
~ (William) Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature (1844). Brief Historical Sketch of the Invention of the Art

To me, film right now is dormant. It's a sleeping giant. It's the plaything of corporations. The people who determine what American film is today are no different from high rollers who go to Las Vegas. They just want to take all the money and put it on one big number and roll the dice on that number and if it craps out, next number. Next case.
~ William Friedkin, The Harold Lloyd Master Seminar Series at the American Film Institute (16 March 1994).

Movement is life. Moving pictures will satisfy something deep inside all the people in the world.
~ William Friese Greene, in Friese-Greene: Close-Up of an Inventor (1948).

What is it they want from the man that they didn't get from the work? What do they expect? What is there left when he's done with his work, what's any artist but the dregs of his work, the human shambles that follows it around?
~ William Gaddis, The Recognitions (1955).

You have fallen into art -- return to life.
~ William H. Gass, Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife (1968).

The art of sketching is to the picturesque traveler, what the art of writing is to the scholar. Each is equally necessary to fix and communicate its respective ideas.
~ William Gilpin, from Three Essays: On Picturesque Beauty; On Picturesque Travel; and On Sketching Landscape (1792). Essay III

All the masterpieces of art contain both light and shadow. A happy life is not one filled with only sunshine, but one which uses both light and shadow to produce beauty.
~ Billy Graham, Day by Day with Billy Graham (1976).

Art is the microscope of the mind, which sharpens the wit as the other does the sight, and converts every object into a little universe in itself.
~ William Hazlitt, from The Round Table, Volume II (1817). On Imitation

Art may be said to draw aside the veil of nature. To those who are perfectly unskilled in the practice, unimbued with the principles of art, most objects present only a confused mass.
~ William Hazlitt, from The Round Table, Volume II (1817). On Imitation

Rules and models destroy genius and art.
~ William Hazlitt, in Sketches and Essays (1839). On Taste (written in 1819)

The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.
~ William Hazlitt, from The Plain Speaker, Volume I (1826). Essay III. On the Conversation of Authors (first published in the London Magazine; September 1820)

Wonder at the first sight of works of art may be the effect of ignorance and novelty; but real admiration and permanent delight in them are the growth of taste and knowledge.
~ William Hazlitt, Table-Talk; or, Original Essays (1821-1822). Essay I. On The Pleasure Of Painting

Even the most severe criticism when it fairly hits the mark is apt to be greeted by an internal Ah-hah! if it shows the artist a new and valid path for work.
~ William Ernest (W.E.) Henley

American popular culture does not embrace this certification of art as work. Indeed the word 'art' is rarely used at all. The preferred signifier is the word 'entertainment', which correctly conveys that the aspirations are generally escapist, nostalgic, or anodyne.
~ William A. Henry III, In Defense of Elitism (1994). Noah's Ark ...

I have generally found that persons who had studied painting least were the best judges of it.
~ William Hogarth

The life of an artist is one of thought, rather than of action; he has to speak of the struggles of mind rather than the conflict of circumstances.
~ William Hone

[T]he artist isn't particularly keen on getting a thing done, as you call it. ... He gets his pleasure out of doing it, playing with it, fooling with it, if you like. The mere completion of it is an incident.
~ William McFee, Harbours of Memory (1921). The Shining Hour

It's impossible to make a picture without values. Values are the basis. If they are not, tell me what is the basis.
~ William Morris (W.M.) Huntfrom Talks on Art (1875).

The mission of art is to represent nature, not to imitate her.
~ William Morris (W.M.) Hunt

Literature flourishes best when it is half a trade and half an art.
~ William Ralph (Dean) Inge, from Outspoken Essays, Second Series (1922). The Victorian Age

Theater is, of course, a reflection of life. Maybe we have to improve life before we can hope to improve theater.
~ William R. Inge

There are certain artists who have taken it upon themselves to save the world, and I find that gets tiresome. I think the artist's first obligation is to the art, not to the issues ... I think if I have something to say the best way to do that is just to tell a damn good story.
~ Billy Joel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (19 July 1990). Billy Joel: Went Back to His Roots and Found Water

My aim is to express in a natural way what I feel, what is in me, both rhythmically and spiritually, all that which in time has been saved up in my family of primitiveness and tradition, and which is now concentrated in me.
~ William Henry Johnson, Interview for a Danish Newspaper (1932)

There is no surer sign of the decadence of art than the search after formulae, striving to lay down rules in imitation of the methods of the past, as if discovery were dead.
~ William Lees ("W.L.") Judson, The Building of a Picture (1902).

Without (a sense of place) the work is often reduced to a cry of voices in empty rooms, a literature of the self, at its best poetic music; at its worst a thin gruel of the ego.
~ William Kennedy

An artist is forced by others to paint out of his own free will.
~ Willem de Kooning, Lecture at the 'Subjects of the Artist' School, New York (18 February 1949). A Desperate View

Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure. I always seem to be wrapped in the melodrama of vugarity. I do not think of inside or outside -- or of art in general -- as a situation of comfort.
~ Willem de Kooning, from Museum of Modern Art Bulletin (Spring 1951). What Abstract Art Means to Me

I don't paint to live, I live to paint.
~ Willem de Kooning

I make pictures and someone comes in and calls it art.
~ Willem de Kooning

If you pick up some paint with your brush and make somebody's nose with it, this is rather ridiculous when you think of it, theoretically or philosophically. It's really absurd to make an image, like a human image, with paint, today.
~ Willem de Kooning, BBC (Interview; 30 December 1960).

In art, one idea is as good as another. If one takes the idea of trembling, for instance, all of a sudden most art starts to tremble. Michelangelo starts to tremble. El Greco starts to tremble. All the Impressionists start to tremble.
~ Willem de Kooning, Lecture at the 'Subjects of the Artist' School, New York (18 February 1949). A Desperate View

God help the Minister that meddles with art!
~ William Lamb (2nd Viscount, Lord Melbourne), quoted in Lord M (1954).

Art is not a special sauce applied to ordinary cooking; it is the cooking itself if it is good.
~ William Richard (W.R.) Lethaby, in The Imprint (January 1913). Art and Workmanship

The cheap, no matter how charming, how immediate, does not wear so well. It has a way of telling its whole story the first time through.
~ William Littler

Art is long and the talk about it is longer ...
~ William John Locke, The Glory of Clementina (1911).

The arts are an even better barometer of what is happening in our world than the stock market or the debates in Congress.
~ Hendrik Willem van Loon, The Arts (1937).

[T]o fathom the depths of character, to trace its latent motives, to feel its finest quiverings of emotion, to comprehend the thoughts that are hidden under words, and thus possess oneself of the actual mind of the individual man, is the highest reach of the player's art, and is an achievement that I have discerned but in few.
~ William Charles Macready, in Macready's Reminiscences, and Selections from His Diaries and Letters (1875). Macready in Retirement (letter of 9 August 1853)

An art is only great and significant if it is one that all may enjoy. The art of a clique is but a plaything.
~ W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up (1938).

Art for art's sake makes no more sense than gin for gin's sake.
~ W. Somerset Maugham

Art, if it is to be reckoned as one of the great values of life, must teach man humility, tolerance, wisdom and magnanimity. The value of art is not beauty, but right action.
~ W. Somerset Maugham, from The Partial View (1954).

Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul.
~ W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence (1919).

Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.
~ W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up (1938).

For the mystic what is how. For the craftsman how is what. For the artist what and how are one.
~ William McElcheran

Art is the only thing that man does which does not involve an adversary relationship. When you do an art, you don't lose something. That's not true of business or sports. Art is done for its own sake; it's a creative partnership.
~ William Ormond (W.O.) Mitchell

A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.
~ Wilson Mizner

Art is long and life is short; let us at least do something before we die.
~ William Morris, Lecture at the Russell Club at University College Hall, Oxford (7 November 1883). Art Under Plutocracy

Art is man's expression of his joy in labor.
~ William Morris, Lecture at the Russell Club at University College Hall, Oxford (7 November 1883). Art Under Plutocracy

[I] say that the greatest foe to art is luxury, art cannot live in its atmosphere.
~ William Morris, from Hopes and Fears for Art (1882). The Beauty of Life (Lecture delivered before the Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design; February 19, 1880)

If you cannot learn to love real art; at least learn to hate sham art and reject it ... because these are but the outward symbols of the poison that lies within them.
~ William Morris, from Hopes and Fears for Art (1882). The Prospects of Architecture in Civilisation (lecture delivered at the London Institution, 10 March 1880)

What business have we with art at all unless all can share it?
~ William Morris, in The Life of William Morris, Volume II (1899). Chapter XV. The Democratic Federation: 1883-1884

Paint pictures that will take with the public. In other words, never paint for the few, but for the many. Some artists remain in the corner by not observing the above.
~ William Sidney Mount

Photography has become an outstanding and indispensable means of propaganda in the revolutionary stuggle.
~ Willi Muenzenberg, Arbeiter-Fotograf (1931).

An artist chooses his subjects: that is the way he praises.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882). Book III

Art is the highest task and proper metaphysical activity of this life.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Art is the proper task of life.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The artist chooses his subject; that is his mode of praising.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

We artists! We moon-struck and God-struck ones! We death-silent, untiring wanderers on heights which we do not see as heights, but as our plains, as our places of safety!
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

We have art that we do not die of the truth.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

There is no more difficult art to acquire than the art of observation, and for some men it is quite as difficult to record an observation in brief and plain language.
~ William Osler, Remarks on the Centennial Celebration of the New Have Medical Association (6 January 1903).

Don't buy it [a work of art] unless you can't live without it.
~ William S. Paley, quoted in The New York Times (27 October 1990). William S. Paley, Builder of CBS, Dies at 89

Art, to be great and ideal, must appeal to the widest intelligence of a people, and it must express their noblest life.
~ William Ordway Partridge, Art For America (1894). An American School of Sculpture

Patriotism is the last refuge of the sculptor.
~ William Charles Franklyn Plomer

Half of art is knowing when to stop.
~ Arthur William Radford

Art without control is like a living man without a head -- it walks but it doesn't talk.
~ William Joseph "Bill" Russo, Jazz Composition and Orchestration (1968).

The art of arts is the art of love.
~ William of Saint-Thierry, On the Nature and Dignity of Love (c. 1124).

All great art has madness, and quite a lot of bad art has it, too.
~ William Saroyan, My Heart's in the Highlands (1939 play).

He paints for the blind, and we are the blind, and he lets us see for sure what we saw long ago but weren't sure we saw. He paints for the dead, to remind us that -- great good God, think of it -- we're alive ...
~ William Saroyan, I Used to Believe I Had Forever, Now I'm Not So Sure (1968).

San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art.
Every block is a short story, every hill a novel.
Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal.
That is the whole truth.
~ William Saroyan

The role of art is to make a world which can be inhabited.
~ William Saroyan, in The New York Times (31 October 1983).

And art made tongue-tied by authority.
~ William Shakespeare, Sonnet 66

I want that glib and oily art
To speak and purpose not.
~ William Shakespeare, King Lear

In scorn of nature, art gave lifeless life.
~ William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece

More matter with less art.
~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath.
~ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Act IV, scene ii

O! she's warm.
If this be magic, let it be an art
Lawful as eating.
~ William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale

Every good poet includes a critic; the reverse will not hold.
~ William Shenstone, in Works in Verse and Prose, Vol. II (1764). Essays on Men, Manners, and Things. On Writing and Books

It is local, sectional -- and to be national in literature, one must needs be sectional. No one mind can fully or fairly illustrate the characteristics of any great country; and he who shall depict one section faithfully, has made his proper and sufficient contribution to the great work of national illustration.
~ William Gilmore Simms, The Wigwam and the Cabin (1856 edition). Dedication

An artist must be ruthlessly selfish.
~ William (W.) Eugene Smith, in Let Truth Be the Prejudice: W. Eugene Smith His Life and Photographs (1985).

Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes -- just sometimes -- one photograph or a group of them can lure our senses into awareness.
~ William (W.) Eugene Smith, Minamata (1975).

The purpose of all art is to cause a deep and emotion, also one that is entertaining or pleasing. Out of the depth and entertainment comes value.
~ William (W.) Eugene Smith, in Myth and Vision. On the Walk to Paradise Garden and the Photography of W. Eugene Smith (1987).

What use having a great depth of field, if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?
~ William (W.) Eugene Smith

Not a few, but everyone, makes art.
~ William Stafford, from Writing the Australian Crawl (1978). Writing: The Discovery of Daily Experience

A picture is not wrought
By hands alone, good Padre, but by thought.
In the interior life it first must start,
And grow to form and colour in the soul;
There once conceived and rounded to a whole,
The rest is but the handicraft of art.
~ William Wetmore Story, from Graffiti d'Italia (1868). Padre Bandelli Proses to the Duke Ludovico Sforza about Leonardo Da Vinci.

All Arts are one, howe'er distributed they stand;
Verse, tone, shape, color, form, are fingers on one hand.
~ William Wetmore Story, from Poems By William Wetmore Story (1856). Couplets. V

What is left undone is as necessary to a true work of art as what is done.
~ William Wetmore Story, from Conversations in a Studio, Volume II (1890).

All art is a form of controlled schizophrenia.
~ William Frederick Temple, in Analog Science Fact -- Science Fiction Magazine (March 1965). The Legend of Ernie Deacon

An artist needn't be a clergyman or a churchwarden, but he certainly must have a warm heart for his fellow men.
~ Vincent Willem van Gogh, in The Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, vol. 1 (1958). Letter of 1 November 1882, to his brother Theo

If a farmer fills his barn with grain, he gets mice. If he leaves it empty, he gets actors.
~ William E. "Bill" Vaughan

If cartoonists would look at this more as an art than as a part time job or a get-rich-quick scheme, I think comics overall would be better. I think there's a tremendous potential to be tapped.
~ Bill Watterson, Honk Magazine (Interview; 1986).

True, comics are a popular art, and yes, I believe their primary obligation is to entertain, but comics can go beyond that, and when they do, they move from silliness to significance.
~ Bill Watterson, Speech at the Festival of Cartoon Art, Ohio State University (27 October 1989). The Cheapening of Comics

An actor entering through the door, you've got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you've got a situation.
~ Billy Wilder

It used to be that we in films were the lowest form of art. Now we have something to look down on.
~ Billy Wilder (of television), in Billy Wilder (1968).

Every art requires practice, even if you are a natural.
~ Angel Kyodo Williams, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace (2000).

This is the wisdom of art, the knowledge that beauty perhaps is the one undeniably unique attribute of the human.
~ Charles Kenneth ("C.K.") Williams, Poetry and Consciousness (1998).

All art is the imperfect human half-realization of that which is spiritually perfect.
~ Ralph Vaughan Williams, from National Music (1934).

[I]f the roots of your art are firmly planted in your own soil and that soil has anything individual to give you, you may still gain the whole world and not lose your own souls.
~ Ralph Vaughan Williams, from National Music (1934).

All good art is an indiscretion.
~ Thomas Lanier ("Tennessee") Williams, from Tennessee Williams Memoirs (1975).

An artist must believe in himself. ... Your belief is contagious. Others may say -- He is vain -- but they are affected.
~ Thomas Lanier ("Tennessee") Williams, in Tennessee Williams Notebooks (2006). Sunday, 5 October 1941

In all human experience, there are parallels which permit common understanding in the telling and hearing, and it is the frightening responsibility of an artist to make what is directly or allusively close to his own being communicable and understandable, however disturbingly, to the hearts and minds of all whom he addresses.
~ Thomas Lanier ("Tennessee") Williams, Too Personal (1972 essay).

But all art is sensual and poetry particularly so. It doesn't declaim or explain, it presents.
~ William Carlos Williams

In a purely technical sense, each species of higher organism is richer in information than a Caravaggio painting, Bach fugue, or any other great work of art.
~ Edward Osborne (E.O.) Wilson

Works of art are all that survive of incredibly gifted people.
~ Peter C. Wilson

In art I pull no high-brow stuff,
I know what I like, and that's enough.
~ William W. ("Willie") Woollcott, I Am A One Hundred Percent American (song; c. 1927)

You can't automate in the arts. Since the sixteenth century there has been no change in the number of people necessary to produce Hamlet.
~ William T. Wylie

[A]ll the great Masters have understood, that there cannot be great art without the little limited life of the fable, which is always the better the simpler it is, and the rich, far-wandering, many-imaged life of the half-seen world beyond it.
~ William Butler Yeats, Ideas of Good and Evil (1903). Emotion of Multitude

Art bids us touch and taste and hear and see the world, and shrinks from what Blake calls mathematic form, from every abstract form, from all that is of the brain only.
~ William Butler Yeats, from The Cutting of an Agate (1912). Discoveries. The Thinking of the Body

I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind.
~ William Butler Yeats, Speech in the Irish Senate (1923)

Literature is always personal, always one man's vision of the world, one man's experience, and it can only be popular when men are ready to welcome the visions of others.
~ William Butler Yeats, in Explorations (1962). An Irish National Theatre

Supreme art is a traditional statement of certain heroic and religious truth, passed on from age to age, modified by individual genius, but never abandoned.
~ William Butler Yeats, (1909)

I've always thought of portrait painters as unlicensed psychiatrists, using their eyes instead of their ears to read the human heart.
~ William K. Zinsser, in Smithsonian Magazine (April 2007). Two Men and a Portrait

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A Collection of Quotes Based on the Name William