Art is a reality, not a definition; inasmuch as it approaches a reality, it approaches perfection, and inasmuch as it approaches a mere definition, it is imperfect and untrue.— Benjamin Haydon
The most massive Benjamin Haydon quotes you will be delighted to read
When a man is no longer anxious to do better than well, he is done for.
The great difficulty is first to win a reputation;
the next to keep it while you live; and the next to preserve it after you die, when affection and interest are over, and nothing but sterling excellence can preserve your name. Never suffer youth to be an excuse for inadequacy, nor age and fame to be an excuse for indolence.
Temperance in everything is requisite for happiness.
There surely is in human nature an inherent propensity to extract all the good out of all the evil.
Men who have reached and passed forty-five, have a look as if waiting for the secret of the other world, and as if they were perfectly sure of having found out the secret of this.
The safest principle through life, instead of reforming others, is to set about perfecting yourself.
Genius is nothing more than common faculties refined to a greater intensity.
There are no astonishing ways of doing astonishing things. All astonishing things are done by ordinary materials.
Fortunately for serious minds, a bias recognized is a bias sterilized.
It is highly convenient to believe in the infinite mercy of God when you feel the need of mercy, but remember also his infinite justice.
Never suffer youth to be an excuse for inadequacy, nor age and fame to be an excuse for indolence.
To procrastinate seems inherent in man, for if you do to-day that you may enjoy to-morrow it is but deferring the enjoyment; so that to be idle or industrious, vicious or virtuous, is but with a view of procrastinating the one or the other.
All government is an evil, but, of the two form's of that evil, democracy or monarchy, the sounder is monarchy; the more able to do its will, democracy.
Never disregard what your enemies say.
They may be severe, they may be prejudiced, they may be determined to see only in one direction, but still in that direction see clearly. They do not speak all the truth, but they generally speak the truth from one point of view; so far as that goes, attend to them.
The only legitimate artists in England are the architects.
Never let your love for your profession overshadow your religious feeling.
Depend on it that religion will strengthen, not weaken, your energies, and will not only make you a better sailor, but a superior man. Professional studies are not to be neglected; but, on the other hand, take care how you fall into the common error of believing they are the remedy for all the ills of life.
Men who have reached and passed 45, have a look as if waiting for the secret of the other world, and as if they were perfectly sure of having found out the secret of this.
Genius in poverty is never feared, because nature, though liberal in her gifts in one instance, is forgetful in another.
The greatest geniuses have always attributed everything to God, as if conscious of being possessed of a spark of His divinity.
Men of genius are often considered superstitious, but the fact is, the fineness of their nerve renders them more alive to the supernatural than ordinary men.
This is an age of intellectual sauces, of essence, of distillation.
We have conclusions without deductions, abridgments of history and abridgments of science without leading facts. We have animals for literature, Cabinet Encyclopaedias, Family Libraries, Diffusion Societies, and heaven knows what else! What is all this for? Not to add knowledge to the learned, but to tell points to the ignorant, without giving them the trouble to acquire the links. Oh! it is sad work. And the result will be injurious to all classes.
We are a compound of both here and hereafter;
we shall be made responsible for the actions of both while here. Anything beyond this is beyond our power to prove, and would be of no real value if we could.
No man, perhaps, is so wicked as to commit evil for its own sake.
Evil is generally committed under the hope of some advantage the pursuit of virtue seldom obtains. Yet the most successful result of the most virtuous heroism is never without its alloy.
Mistrusts sometimes come over one's mind of the justice of God.
But let a real misery come again, and to whom do we fly? To whom do we instinctively and immediately look up?
Some persons are so devotional they have not one bit of true religion in them.
One of the surest evidences of an elevated taste is the power of enjoying works of impassioned terrorism, in poetry, and painting. The man who can look at impassioned subjects of terror with a feeling of exultation may be certain he has an elevated taste.
There must be more malice than love in the hearts of all wits.
Beware of the beginnings of vice. Do not delude yourself with the belief that it can be argued against in the presence of the exciting cause. Nothing but actual flight can save you.
It is better to make friends than adversaries of a conquered race.
The longer a man lives in this world the more he must be convinced that all domestic quarrels had better never be obtruded on the public; for, let the husband be right, or let him be wrong, there is always a sympathy existing for women which is certain to give the man the worst of it.
Danger is the very basis of superstition.
It produces a searching after help supernaturally when human means are no longer supposed to be available.
Satan is to be punished eternally in the end, but for a while he triumphs.
The explanation of the propensity of the English people to portrait painting is to be found in their relish for a Fact. Let a man do the grandest things, fight the greatest battles, or be distinguished by the most brilliant personal heroism, yet the English people would prefer his portrait to a painting of the great deed. The likeness they can judge of; his existence is a Fact. But the truth of the picture of his deeds they cannot judge of, for they have no imagination.
Do your duty, and don't swerve from it.
Do that which your conscience tells you to be right, and leave the consequences to God.
Newton's health, and confusion to mathematics.
Invention is totally independent of the will.
If men would only take the chances of doing right because it is right, instead of the immediate certainty of the advantage of doing wrong, how much happier would their lives be.
Nothing is difficult; it is only we who are indolent.
How difficult it is to get men to believe that any other man can or does act from disinterestedness!