quote by Peter Zumthor

I am convinced that a good building must be capable of absorbing the traces of human life and taking on a specific richness... I think of the patina of age on materials, of innumerable small scratches on surfaces, of varnish that has grown dull and brittle, and of edges polished by use.

— Peter Zumthor

Romantic Varnish quotations

it is a principle of his that no man who was not a true gentleman at heart, ever was, since the world began, a true gentleman in manner. He says, no varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.

Whenever anyone grows tired of the secondhand sort of existence that depends on purchased products, and wants to resume the intimate relationship with nature that man once enjoyed, the kukui-nut stands ready to furnish him with food, flavor, tannin, oil, paint, varnish, medicine, and magic.

They [zebras] looked like highly varnished animated toys.

Civilization is hideously fragile... there's not much between us and the Horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish.


If the picture needs varnishing later, I allow a restorer to do that, if there's any restoring necessary.

Culture is one thing and varnish is another.

People are less self-conscious in the intimacy of family life and during the anxiety of a great sorrow. The dazzling varnish of anextreme politeness is then less in evidence, and the true qualities of the heart regain their proper proportions.

With sharpen'd sight pale Antiquaries pore, Th' inscription value, but the rust adore. This the blue varnish, that the green endears; The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years.

A classic is like a hidden treasure. Its core is buried under so many layers of varnish that it can be reached only by patience and infiltration.


No varnish can hide the grain of the wood;

and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.

I use a retouching varnish which is made in France, Libert, and that's all the varnish I use.

I don't sleep with a violin in my bed, but there is something very magical about the instrument. You open up the case; it's a masterpiece, it's gorgeous, the varnish is still there from 300 years ago. People who know violins, they look at it and it's almost like a face.

Varnishing is the only artistic process with which Royal Academicians are thoroughly familiar.

This is the river of the great 19th-century landscapists;

of Cole, Cropsey and Church, and at the end of the summer it lies motionless under the haze as under a light coat of varnish.


Manners are the happy ways of doing things;

each one a stroke of genius or of love, now repeated and hardened into usage, they form at last a rich varnish, with which the routine of life is washed, and its details adorned. If they are superficial, so are the dew-drops which give such a depth to the morning meadows.

I shall strip away layer after layer of grime -- the toffee-colored varnish and caked soot left by a lifetime of dissembling -- until I come to the very thing itself and know it for what it is. My soul. My self.

How big are souls anyway?" asked Coraline.

The other mother sat down at the kitchen table and leaned against the back wall, saying nothing. She picked at her teeth with a long crimson-varnished fingernail, then she tapped the finger, gently, tap-tap-tap against the polished black surface of her black button eyes.

Civilization is hideously fragile and there's not much between us and the horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish.

Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes. Genuine ignorance is profitable because it is likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open-mindedness; whereas ability to repeat catch-phrases, cant terms, familiar propositions, gives the conceit of learning and coats the mind with varnish waterproof to new ideas.


I love the jacket with a varnish finish, a bomber.

I adore the proportions, with the tight skirt, no stockings, very sexy - skirt to the knee.

Like any classic you hope to get rid of all the varnish that's built up over the centuries where people expect it to be in a certain way. It's a mighty play. It's about a very old king who also happens to be a very old father, so you've got the state and the domestic levels in there together. It's a story in extremis. Everyone knows the end, there's only two people left alive.

Art may varnish and gild, but it can do no more.

In a moment when criticism shows a singular dearth of direction every man has to be a law unto himself in matters of theatre, writing, and painting. While the American Mercury and the new Ford continue to spread a thin varnish of Ritz over the whole United States there is a certain virtue in being unfashionable.

behold The approach of him whom none believes, Whom all believe that all believe, A pagan in a varnished car.


Who would be so mocked with glory, or to live But in a dream of friendship, To have his pomp and all what state compounds But only painted, like his varnished friends?

Education is all paint - it does not alter the nature of the wood that lies under it, it only improves its appearance a little. Why I dislike education so much is, that it makes all people alike, until you have examined into them; and it sometimes is so long before you get to see under the varnish!

Tis mighty easy o'er a glass of wine On vain refinements vainly to refine, To laugh at poverty in plenty's reign, To boast of apathy when out of pain, And in each sentence, worthy of the schools, Varnish'd with sophistry, to deal out rules Most fit for practice, but for one poor fault That into practice they can ne'er be brought.

Thrust your head into the public street, to gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces.

I think [aging] has nothing to recommend it.

You don't gain any wisdom as the years go by. You fall apart, is what happens. People try and put a nice varnish on it, and say, well, you mellow. You come to understand life and accept things. But you'd trade all of that for being 35 again.


Drink whatever you like, just so long as it coordinates with your nail varnish.

The whitewash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor, The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door; The chest, contriv'd a double debt to pay,- A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day.

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