“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
“Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.”
“Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.”
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
Learning acquired in youth arrests the evil of old age; and if you understand that old age has wisdom for its food, you will so conduct yourself in youth that your old age will not lack for nourishment.
Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge
The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.
Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art
Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. So we must stretch ourselves to the very limits of human possibility.
There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.
Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.
Though I may not, like them, be able to quote other authors, I shall rely on that which is much greater and more worthy — on experience, the mistress of their Masters. They go about puffed up and pompous, dressed and decorated with [the fruits], not of their own labours, but of those of others. And they will not allow me my own. They will scorn me as an inventor; but how much more might they — who are not inventors but vaunters and declaimers of the works of others — be blamed.
In dealing with a scientific problem, I first arrange several experiments, and then show with reasons why such an experiment must necessarily operate in this and in no other way. This is the method which must be followed in all research upon the phenomenon of nature. We must consult experience in the variety of cases and circumstances until we can draw from them a general rule that is contained in them. And for what purposes are these rules good? They lead us to further investigations of nature and to creations of art. They prevent us from deceiving ourselves and others by promising results which are not obtainable.
These rules will enable you to have a free and sound judgment; since good judgment is born of clear understanding, and a clear understanding comes of reasons derived from sound rules, and sound rules are the issue of sound experience — the common mother of all the sciences and arts. Hence, bearing in mind the precepts of my rules, you will be able, merely by your amended judgment, to criticise and recognise every thing that is out of proportion in a work, whether in the perspective or in the figures or any thing else.
Perspective is a most subtle discovery in mathematical studies, for by means of lines it causes to appear distant that which is near, and large that which is small.
Those who are in love with practice without knowledge are like the sailor who gets into a ship without rudder or compass and who never can be certain whether he is going. Practice must always be founded on sound theory, and to this Perspective is the guide and the gateway; and without this nothing can be done well in the matter of drawing.
Seeing that I can find no subject specially useful or pleasing — since the men who have come before me have taken for their own every useful or necessary theme — I must do like one who, being poor, comes last to the fair, and can find no other way of providing himself than by taking all the things already seen by other buyers, and not taken but refused by reason of their lesser value. I, then, will load my humble pack with this despised and rejected merchandise, the refuse of so many buyers; and will go about to distribute it, not indeed in great cities, but in the poorer towns, taking such a price as the wares I offer may be worth.
“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself”.
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