Fain would I Raphael's god-like art rehearse, where, from the mingled strength of shade and light, a new creation rises to my sight; such heavenly figures from his pencil flow, so warrn with life his blended colors glow.
The love of gain never made a painter, but it has marred many.
The painter who is content with the praise of the world for what does not satisfy himself, is not an artist, but an artisan; for though his reward be only praise, his pay is that of a mechanic.
The first merit of pictures is the effect they produce on the mind; and the first step of a sensible man should be to receive involuntary impressions from them.—Pleasure and inspiration first; analysis, afterward.
Portrait-painting may be to the painter what the practical knowledge of the world is to the poet, provided he considers it as a school by which he is to acquire the means of perfection in his art, and not as the object of that perfection.
A picture is an intermediate something between a thought and a thing.
The masters painted for joy, and knew riot that virtue had gone out of them. They could not paint the like in cold blood. The masters of English lyric wrote their songs so. It was a fine efflorescence of fine powers.
A room with pictures and a room without pictures, differ nearly as much as a room with windows and a room without windows; for pictures are loopholes of escape to the soul, leading it to other scenes and spheres, where the fancy for a moment may revel, refreshed and delighted. Pictures are consolers of loneliness, and a relief to the jaded mind, and windows to the imprisoned thought; they are books, histories, and sermons—which we can read without the trouble of turning over the leaves.
A picture is a poem without words.
Would that we could at once paint with the eyes!—In the long way from the eye, through the arm, to the pencil, how much is lost!
The best portraits are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature.
What a vanity is painting, which attracts admiration by the resemblance of things that in the original we do not admire!
A room hung with pictures, is a room hung with thoughts.
Style in painting is the same as in writing,—a power over materials, whether words or colors, by which conceptions or sentiments are conveyed.
The first degree of proficiency is, in painting, what grammar is in literature,—a general preparation for whatever the student may afterward choose for more particular application. The power of drawing, modelling, and using colors, is very properly called the language of the art.
Softness of manner seems to be in painting what smoothness of syllables is in language, affecting the sense of sight or hearing, previous to any correspondent passion.
Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is a speaking picture.