Edgar Degas Quotes


Best 38 Quotes by Edgar Degas – Page 1 of 2

“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”

“A picture is first of all a product of the artist's imagination, it must never be a copy.”

“An artist must approach his work in the spirit of the criminal about to commit a crime.”

“And even this heart of mine has something artificial. The dancers have sewn it into a bag of pink satin, pink satin slightly faded, like their dancing shoes.”

“Art critic! Is that a profession? When I think we are stupid enough, we painters, to solicit those people's compliments and to put ourselves into their hands! What shame! Should we even accept that they talk about our work?”

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

“Art is the same word as 'artifice', that is to say, something deceitful. It must succeed in giving the impression of nature by false means.”

“Art is vice. It isn’t something you marry. It’s something you rape.”

“Conversation in real life is full of half-finished sentences and overlapping talk. Why shouldn't painting be too?”

“Drawing is not what you see but what you must make others see.”

“Everyone has talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty.”

“Hitherto the nude has always been represented in poses which presuppose an audience. But my women are simple, honest creatures who are concerned with nothing beyond their physical occupations... It is as if you were looking through a keyhole.”

“I have seen some very beautiful things through my anger, and what consoles me a little, is that through my anger I do not stop looking...”

“I want to be famous but unknown!”

“I would rather do nothing than do a rough sketch without having looked at anything. My memories will do better.”

“I'm glad I haven't found my style yet. I'd be bored to death.”

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“The artist enriches the soul of humanity. The artist delights people with a thousand different shades of feeling.”

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“If painting weren't so difficult, it wouldn't be fun.”

“In painting you must give the idea of the true by means of the false.”

“It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one's memory. That is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory.”

“It is people's movement that consoles us. If the leaves of a tree did not move, how sad would be the tree – and so should we.”

“It is true. There is someone who feels as I do.”

“Muses work all day long and then at night get together and dance.”

“My art, what do you want to say about it? Do you think you can explain the merits of a picture to those who do not see them? I can find the best and clearest words to explain my meaning, and I have spoken to the most intelligent people about art, and they have not understood; but among people who understand, words are not necessary, you say humph, he, ha and everything has been said.”

“No art is less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and the study of the great masters.”

“One must do the same subject over again ten times, a hundred times. In art nothing must resemble an accident, not even movement.”

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

“Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.”

“People call me the painter of dancing girls. It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.”

“So that's the telephone? They ring, and you run.”

“Success! Success! The enemy of progress!”

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“The colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas.”

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