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October 16, 2002

Artistic Quote of the Day


A quote from John Walker’s “Constable”:

[Constable] found beauty in everything that grows: weeds as well as flowers. He once corrected a lady, who, when looking at an engraving of a house, called it an “ugly thing.” In what was virtually a reprimand, he stated one of his fundamental beliefs. “No madam,” he said, “there is nothing ugly; I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may,--light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.

I think Constable has put a finger on something rather larger than art here; that is, a tendency (which I am far too ready to indulge) to dismiss whole chunks of life as not “measuring up” to our assumptions about what is beautiful, desirable, pleasurable or profitable. As a result, I, at any rate, am constantly in danger of not enjoying life as much as I should as a consequence of pre-conceived ideas—the most idiotic explanation imaginable! (And something approaching what I, for want of a better term, would describe as a mortal sin.) I hereby resolve to do better.



posted by Friedrich at October 16, 2002


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