WASHINGTON ALLSTON QUOTES

American painter & poet (1779-1843)

Washington Allston quote

Nothing is rarer than a solitary lie; for lies breed like Surinam toads; you cannot tell one but out it comes with a hundred young ones on its back.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Memoirs and Essays

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Never judge a work of art by its defects.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, attributed, A Dictionary of Thoughts: Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Authors of the World, both Ancient and Modern

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Reputation is but a synonym of popularity: dependent on suffrage, to be increased or diminished at the will of the voters.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Memoirs and Essays

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The most intangible, and therefore the worst, kind of lie is a half truth. This is the peculiar device of a conscientious detractor.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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I cannot believe that any man who deserved fame ever labored for it; that is, directly. For, as fame is but the contingent of excellence, it would be like an attempt to project a shadow, before its substance was obtained.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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An original mind is rarely understood, until it has been reflected from some half-dozen congenial with it, so averse are men to admitting the true in an unusual form; whilst any novelty, however fantastic, however false, is greedily swallowed.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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Humility is also a healing virtue; it will cicatrize a thousand wounds, which pride would keep forever open.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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In the same degree that we overrate ourselves, we shall underrate others.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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Titian, Tintoretto, and Paul Veronese absolutely enchanted me, for they took away all sense of subject.... It was the poetry of color which I felt, procreative in its nature, giving birth to a thousand things which the eye cannot see, and distinct from their cause.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Graham's American Monthly Magazine of Literature, Art, and Fashion, Jul. 1855

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The Painter who seeks popularity in Art closes the door upon his own genius.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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Distinction is the consequence, never the object of a great mind.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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It is my greatest misfortune to be too lazy, and by the few mortifications I have already set with on that account I predict many evils in my future life. I have always the inclination to do what I ought; but by continually procrastinating for tomorrow the business of today, I insensibly delay, until at the end of one month I find myself in the same place as when I began it.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, letter to Robert Rogers, Oct. 28, 1797

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The love of gain never made a Painter; but it has marred many.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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I am inclined to think from my own experience that the difficulty to eminence lies not in the road, but in the timidity of the traveler.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, letter to his mother, Aug. 12, 1800

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If the whole world should agree to speak nothing but truth, what an abridgment it would make of speech! And what an unraveling there would be of the invisible webs which men, like so many spiders, now weave about each other!

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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I have not been three days at Rome. How charming are the Italian women! Nature seems here to have concentrated all her beauties. In other countries she has bestow'd only one feature; but in Rome the countenance is perfect. There she has given souls without bodies; here they both exist in the same being.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, letter from Rome, Oct. 1800

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All effort at originality must end either in the quaint or the monstrous. For no man knows himself as an original; he can only believe it on the report of others.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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Make no man your idol, for the best man must have faults; and his faults will insensibly become yours, in addition to your own.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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Injustice allowed at home is not likely to be corrected abroad.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON, Lectures on Art and Poems

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