21/07/15 Aggiornato il:

Eugène Delacroix ~ Romantic painter | Quotes /Aforismi



  • Nature is a dictionary; one draws words from it.
  • on Rubens... Glory to that Homer of painting, to that father of warmth and enthusiasm... he really paints men.
  • on Titian... There is a man whose qualities can be savored by people who are getting old... The painter qualities are carried to the highest point in his work: what he does is done - through and through; when he paints eyes, they are lit with the fire of life.
  • What moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.
  • Do not be troubled for a language, cultivate your soul and she will show herself.
  • The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.
  • A taste for simplicity cannot endure for long.



  • Talent does whatever it wants to do. Genius does only what it can.
  • If one considered life as a simple loan, one would perhaps be less exacting. We possess actually nothing; everything goes through us.
  • Cold exactitude is not art; ingenious artifice, when it pleases or when it expressses, is art itself.
  • Do all the work you can; that is the whole philosophy of the good way of life.
  • Of which beauty will you speak? There are many: there are a thousand: there is one for every look, for every spirit, adapted to each taste, to each particular constitution.
  • What makes sovereign ugliness are our conventions.
  • The so-called conscientiousness of the majority of painters is only perfection applied to the art of boring.
  • The sea a dark greenish blue like a fig.
  • The more an object is polished or brilliant, the less you see its own color and the more it becomes a mirror reflecting the color of its surroundings.
  • Remember the enemy of all painting is gray: a painting will almost always appear grayer than it is, on account of its oblique position under the light.
  • Not only can color, which is under fixed laws, be taught like music, but it is easier to learn than drawing, whose elaborate principles cannot be taught.
  • All painting worth its name, unless one is talking about black and white, must include the idea of color as one of its necessary supports, in the same way that it includes chiaroscuro, proportion, and perspective.
  • Draughtsmen may be made, but colourists are born. 
  • Everyone knows that yellow, orange, and red suggest ideas of joy and plenty.
  • I can paint you the skin of Venus with mud, provided you let me surround it as I will.
  • A picture is nothing but a bridge between the soul of the artist and that of the spectator.


  • Cold exactitude is not art... The so-called consciousness of the majority of painters is only perfection applied to the art of boring. People like that, if they could, would work with the same minute attention on the back of their canvas. 
  • Criticism is like many other things, it drags along after what has already been said and doesn't get out of its rut.
  • Finishing a painting demands a heart of steel: everything requires a decision, and I find difficulties where I least expect them... It is at such moments that one fully realizes one's own weaknesses. 
  • One should not be too difficult. An artist should not treat himself like an enemy.
  • Experience alone can give, even to the greatest talent, that confidence in having done all that could be done.;
  • Experience has two things to teach; the first is that we must correct a great deal; the second, that we must not correct too much. 
  • As for the ridiculous fear of making things below one's potential abilities... No, there is the root of the evil. There is the hiding place of stupidity I must attack: vain mortal, you are limited by nothing... 
  • A fine suggestion, a sketch with great feeling, can be as expressive as the most finished product.
  • Perhaps the sketch of a work is so pleasing because everyone can finish it as he chooses.
  • One always has to spoil a picture a little bit in order to finish it.
  • Give me some mud, and I will paint you a woman's flesh.
  • The source of genius is imagination alone, the refinement of the senses that sees what others do not see, or sees them differently. 
  • One must learn to be grateful for one's own findings.
  • Not one great mind coming after them (great artists) but owes them tribute, and finds in them the prototype of his own inspiration. 
  • Those things which are most real are the illusions I create in my paintings.
  • One always begins by imitating.
  • What I have done cannot be taken from me.
  • If painters left nothing of themselves after their deaths, so that we were obliged to rank them as we do actors according to the judgment of their contemporaries, how different their reputations would be from what posterity has made them!
  • It is often we come the closest to the essence of an artist... in his or her pocket notebooks and travel sketchbooks... where written comments and personal notes provide an intimate insight into the magical mind of a working artist. 
  • What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough. 
  • Inspiration is getting to our studies at 9 am. 
  • It is only possible to speak in the language and in the spirit of one's time.
  • I live in company with a body, a silent companion, exacting and eternal.
  • In abandoning the vagueness of the sketch the artist shows more of his personality by revealing the range but also the limitations of his talent.
  • I go to work as others rush to see their mistresses, and when I leave, I take back with me to my solitude, or in the midst of the distractions that I pursue, a charming memory that does not in the least resemble the troubled pleasure of lovers.
  • The only ones who can really benefit by consulting the model are those who can produce their effect without a model.




  • Every time I await a model, even when I am most pressed to time, I am overjoyed when the time comes and I tremble when I hear the key turn in the door.
  • The living model never answers well the idea or impressions the painter wishes to express; one must, therefore, learn to do without one, and for that, you must acquire facility, furnish one's memory to the point of infinitude, and make numerous drawings after the old masters.
  • Seeing artistically does not happen automatically. We must constantly develop our powers of observation.
  • One never paints violently enough.
  • Painters who are not colorists produce illumination, not painting.
  • I have told myself a hundred times that painting – that is, the material thing called a painting – is no more than a pretext, the bridge between the mind of the painter and the mind of the spectator. 
  • The first virtue of a painting is that it be a feast for the eyes.
  • Take hold of objects by their centres, not by their lines of contour... The contour accentuated uniformly and beyond proportion, destroys plasticity, bringing forward those parts of an object which are always most distant from the eye – namely its outlines.
  • At a distance this fine oak seems to be of ordinary size. But if I place myself under its branches, the impression changes completely: I see it as big, and even terrifying in its bigness.
  • One never paints violently enough.

  • God is that inner presence which makes us admire the beautiful and consoles us for not sharing the happiness of the wicked.
  • If you are not skillful enough to sketch a man jumping out of a window in the time it takes him to fall from the fourth storey to the ground, you will never be able to produce great works.
  • The things one experiences alone with oneself are very much stronger and purer.
  • Everything is a subject; the subject is yourself. It is within yourself that you must look and not around you... The greatest happiness is to reveal it to others, to study oneself, to paint oneself continually in [one's] work.
  • We work not only to produce but to give value to time.
  • Always, at the back of your soul, there is something that says to you, 'Mortal, drawn from eternal life for a short time, think how precious these moments are'.
  • To be understood a writer has to explain almost everything.

Frédéric Chopin, 1838















































  • Bisogna sempre guastare un po' il quadro per finirlo.
  • Tiziano è uno di coloro che si avvicinano maggiormente allo spirito degli antichi ... in tutti gli altri si direbbe che ci sia un grano di pazzia: lui solo è equilibrato e padrone di sé, della sua esecuzione, della facilità che non lo domina mai e di cui non fa sfoggio. ... Egli commuove, credo, non per la profondità delle espressioni, né per una grande comprensione del soggetto, ma per la semplicità e la mancanza di affettazione. In lui le qualità pittoriche sono portate al punto massimo: quel che dipinge, è dipinto: gli occhi guardano e sono animati dal fuoco della vita. Vita e ragione sono presenti ovunque.
  • [Su Théophile Gautier] Prende un quadro, lo descrive alla sua maniera, fa lui stesso un quadro che è affascinante, ma non ha fatto un atto di vera critica.
  • Visto Velázquez [...] ecco quel che cercavo da tanti anni, un impasto netto e nello stesso tempo ricco di sfumature.

  • La prima virtù di un dipinto è essere una festa per gli occhi, ma ciò non significa che non vi debba essere posto per la ragione.
  • L'artista che mira alla perfezione in tutto, in nulla la raggiungerà.
  • L'uomo è un animale sociale che detesta i suoi simili.
  • Due cose l'esperienza deve insegnare: la prima, che bisogna correggere molto; la seconda che non bisogna correggere troppo.
  • Tutta la natura porta un fardello e attende di essere consolata.
  • Gli artisti che cercano la perfezione in tutto sono quelli che non possono raggiungerla da nessuna parte.
  • Il sentimento dell'unità e il potere di realizzarlo nell'opera fanno il grande scrittore e il grande artista.
  • Il segreto della felicità non è nel possesso delle cose, ma nel godimento che se ne trae.
  • Senza audacia, ed estrema audacia, non vi è bellezza.
  • Il nuovo è molto antico, si può anzi dire che è sempre ciò che c'è di più antico.
  • Bisogna, nelle arti, accontentarsi, anche nelle opere migliori, di qualche barlume: sono i momenti in cui l'artista è stato ispirato.
  • L'avversità restituisce agli uomini tutte le virtù che la prosperità toglie loro.
  • Non si è maestri che quando si impiega nelle cose la pazienza che esigono.
  • Sull'autorità, le tradizioni, gli esempi dei maestri. − Non sono meno pericolosi di quanto non siano utili. Fanno traviare o rendono timidi gli artisti, armano i critici di argomenti terribili contro ogni originalità.