Quotes by Painters
Appearing in Lisette's List

Camille Pissarro:

painting of a group of rural houses, an ochre path, a young woman in blue walking up the path away from the viewer, a white goat behind her on the path.

Camille Pissarro: Côte Jalet

  • God takes care of imbeciles, little children and artists.
  • Everything is beautiful. The important thing is to know how to interpret it.
  • Sadness, bitterness, pain I can forget about, even ignore, in the joy of work. Suffering only grabs hold of the lazy.
  • Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
  • Painting, art in general, enchants me. It is my life. What else matters? When you put all your soul into a work, all that is noble in you, you cannot fail to find a kindred soul who understands you, and you do not need a host of such spirits. Is not that all an artist should wish for?
  • At times I come across works of mine which are soundly done and really in my style, and at such moments I find great solace.

About Pissarro:

A beautiful painting by this man is the act of an honest man. I could not define his talent better than that.    -- Émile Zola

Paul Cézanne:

panorama of cultivated fields, an elevated railroad bridge above arches in the middle distance, and Montagne Sainte-Victoire in the far distance

Paul Cézanne: Montagne Ste-Victoire, Vue de Bibémus

  • Nature should be created as cylinders, spheres, and cones. It should all be aligned in correct perspective so that every side of an object or surface tends towards a central point.
  • Art is a religion. Its goal is the elevation of thought.
  • Look at Sainte Victoire. What a sweep. What a commanding thirst for sunshine! And what melancholy in the evening when all that heaviness settles upon it.
  • When you translate the skin of a beautiful peach, or the melancholy of an old apple, you sense their mutual reflections, the same shadows of relinquishment, the same loving sun, the same recollections of dew.

About Cézanne:

However does he do it? The moment he dabs two touches of paint on a canvas, the result is brilliant.    --Pierre Auguste Renoir

Courage, then, once again! Take up your brush once more and give your imagination free rein. I believe in you.    -- Émile Zola

Marc Chagall:

semi-cubist painting of Marc Chagall wearing a black suit and smiling broadly while hold one arm up supporting Bella in violet dress as she floats horizontally

Marc Chagall: Promenade

  • Art seems to me to be a state of soul more than anything else.
  • What I mean by "abstract" is something which comes to life spontaneously through a gamut of contrasts, plastic at the same time as psychic, and pervades both the picture and the eye of the spectator with conceptions of new and unfamiliar elements.
  • Neither Imperial Russia, nor the Russia of the Soviets needs me. They don't understand me. I am a stranger to them. I'm certain Rembrandt loves me.
  • Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything. Color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.
  • I have always painted pictures where human love floods my colors.
  • All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.
  • Love and fantasy go hand in hand.
  • Only love interests me, and I am only in contact with things that revolve around love. In the arts, as in life, everything is possible provided it is based on love.
  • We all know that a good person can be a bad artist. But no one will ever be a genuine artist unless he is a great human being and thus also a good one.
  • Great art picks up where nature ends.
  • Will God or someone else give me the strength to breathe the breath of prayer and mourning into my paintings, the breath of prayer for redemption and resurrection?
  • All our interior world is reality, and that, perhaps, more so than our apparent world.
  • If a symbol should be discovered in a painting of mine, it was not my intention. It is a result I did not seek. It is something that may be found afterwards, and which can be interpreted according to taste.
  • If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.