Leonardo da Vinci quotes
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Leonardo da Vinci Quotes



Quotes by Leonardo da Vinci - (108 quotes)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Activity category:

Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen: even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Amusement category:

You should often amuse yourself when you take a walk for recreation, in watching and taking note of the attitudes and actions of men as they talk and dispute, or laugh or come to blows with one another... noting these down with rapid strokes, in a little pocket-book which you ought always to carry with you. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Application category:

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Application category:

Learn diligence before speedy execution. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Art category:

Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Authority category:

Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Beauty category:

A painter was asked why, since he made such beautiful figures, which were but dead things, his children were so ugly; to which the painter replied that he made his pictures by day, and his children by night. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Books category:

Happy will be those who give ear to the words of the dead: - The reading of good works and the observing of their precepts. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Books category:

Things severed shall be united and shall acquire of themselves such virtue that they shall restore to men their lost memory: - That is the papyrus sheets, which are formed out of several strips and preserve the memory of the thoughts and deeds of men. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Colour category:

To any white body receiving the light from the sun, or the air, the shadows will be of a bluish cast. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Colour category:

Black is like a broken vessel, which is deprived of the capacity to contain anything. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Colour category:

In an atmosphere of uniform density the most distant things seen through it, such as the mountains, in consequence of the great quantity of atmosphere which is between your eye and them, will appear blue. Therefore you should make the building... wall which is more distant less defined and bluer... five times as far away, make five times as blue. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Competence category:

It reflects no great honour on a painter to be able to execute one thing well. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Conviction category:

Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Creativity category:

The painter's mind is a copy of the divine mind, since it operates freely in creating the many kinds of animals, plants, fruits, landscapes, countrysides, ruins, and awe-inspiring places. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Criticism category:

Nothing is more apt to deceive us than our own judgement of our work. We derive more benefit from having our faults pointed out by our enemies than from hearing the opinions of friends. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Critics category:

Be eager to lend a patient ear to the opinions of others and think long and hard whether whoever finds fault has reason or not to censure you. And if the answer is yes, correct the fault. If no, give the impression that you have not heard him, or if he is a man whom you respect, explain to him why he is mistaken. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Deception category:

The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Design category:

Let no man who is not a Mathematician read the elements of my work. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Desire category:

He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Desire category:

Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that is taken in. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Discovery category:

The great man presides over all his states of consciousness with obstinate rigor. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Doubt category:

That painter who has no doubts will achieve little. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Drawing category:

Drawing is based upon perspective, which is nothing else than a thorough knowledge of the function of the eye. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Education category:

Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Education category:

Study the science of art and the art of science. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Emotion category:

There is nothing that deceives us more than our own judgment when used to give an opinion on our own works. It is sound in judging the work of our enemies but not that of our friends, for hate and love are two of the most powerfully motivating factors found among living things. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Excellence category:

I would venture to affirm that a man cannot attain excellence if he satisfy the ignorant and not those of his own craft, and if he be not 'singular' or 'distant,' or whatever you like to call him. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Exhaustion category:

Oh Lord, you give us everything at the price of fatigue! (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Experience category:

Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Experience category:

My works are the issue of simple and plain experience which is the true mistress. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Happiness category:

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Ideas category:

It should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains of walls, or ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which... you may find really marvellous ideas. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Imagination category:

The idea or the faculty of imagination serves as both rudder and bridle to the senses, inasmuch as the thing imagined moves the sense. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Imitation category:

Do not imitate one another's style. If you do, so far as your art is concerned you will be called a grandson, rather than the son of Nature. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Imitation category:

No one should ever imitate the style of another because, with regard to art, he will be called a nephew and not a child of nature. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Incentive category:

O painter, take care lest the greed for gain prove a stronger incentive than renown in art, for to gain this renown is a far greater thing than is the renown of riches. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Indolence category:

Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Invention category:

Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Knowledge category:

The desire to know is natural to good men. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Language category:

O admirable necessity! O powerful action! What mind can penetrate your nature? What language can express this marvel? None, to be sure. This is where human discourse turns toward the contemplation of the divine. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Life category:

Our life is made by the death of others. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Life category:

While I thought I was learning to live, I have been learning to die. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Light category:

Of the original phenomena, light is the most enthralling. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Light category:

A gray day provides the best light. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Light category:

Look at light and admire its beauty. Close your eyes, and then look again: what you saw is no longer there; and what you will see later is not yet. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Light category:

The light for drawing from nature should come from the North in order that it may not vary. And if you have it from the South, keep the window screened with cloth, so that with the sun shining the whole day the light may not vary. The height of the light so arranged as that every object shall cast a shadow on the ground of the same length as itself. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Light category:

The vivacity and brightness of colors in a landscape will never bear any comparison with a landscape in nature when it is illumined by the sun, unless the painting is placed in such a position that it will receive the same light from the sun as does the landscape. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Light category:

Shadows which you see with difficulty, and whose boundaries you cannot define... these you should not represent as finished or sharply defined, for the result would be that your work would seem wooden. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Listening category:

Surely when a man is painting a picture he ought not refuse to hear any man's opinion... Since men are able to form a true judgement as to the works of nature, how much more does it behoove us to admit that they are able to judge our faults. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Love category:

For in truth great love is born of great knowledge of the thing loved. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Masters category:

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Masters category:

The smallest feline is a masterpiece. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Masters category:

Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Memory category:

Just as eating against one's will is injurious to health, so studying without a liking for it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Miracles category:

I wish to work miracles. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Mirrors category:

When you paint look at your work in a mirror; when you see it reversed, it will appear to you like some other painter's work and you will be a better judge of its faults. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Mirrors category:

The painter who draws by practice and judgement of the eye without the use of reason is like the mirror which reproduces within itself all the objects which are set opposite to it without knowledge of the same. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Mirrors category:

The mind of a painter should be like a mirror which is filled with as many images as there are things placed before him. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Mistakes category:

If on your own or by the criticism of others you discover error in your work, correct it then and there; otherwise in exposing your work to the public, you will expose your error also. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Mistakes category:

We know well that mistakes are more easily detected in the works of others than in one's own. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Models category:

He who draws... ought to take his position so that the eye of the figure he is drawing is on a level with his own... because, generally, figures or people whom you meet in the streets all have their eyes at the same level as yours, and if you make them higher or lower you will find that your portrait will not resemble them. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Nature category:

He who despises painting has no love for the philosophy in nature. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Nudes category:

When you draw a nude, sketch the whole figure and nicely fit the members to it and to each other. Even though you may only finish one portion of the drawing, just make certain that all the parts hang together, so that the study will be useful to you in the future. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Nudes category:

O painter skilled in anatomy, beware lest the undue prominence of the bones, sinews and muscles cause you to become a wooden painter from the desire to make your nude figures reveal all. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Opposites category:

Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Order category:

If anyone wishes to see how the soul dwells in its body, let him observe how this body uses its daily habitation; that is to say, if this is devoid of order and confused, the body will be kept in disorder and confusion by its soul... (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Painting category:

Poetry is superior to painting in the presentation of words, and painting is superior to poetry in the presentation of facts. For this reason I judge painting to be superior to poetry. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Patience category:

Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Perception category:

All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Perfection category:

He only moves toward the perfection of his art whose criticism surpasses his achievement. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Perseverance category:

Constancy. Not he who begins, but he who perseveres. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Perspective category:

Perspective is to painting what the bridle is to the horse, the rudder to a ship. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Perspective category:

There are three aspects to perspective. The first has to do with how the size of objects seems to diminish according to distance: the second, the manner in which colors change the farther away they are from the eye; the third defines how objects ought to be finished less carefully the farther away they are. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Pleasure category:

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Poetry category:

Although the poet has as wide a choice of subjects as the painter, his creations fail to afford as much satisfaction to mankind as do paintings... if the poet serves the understanding by way of the ear, the painter does so by the eye, which is the nobler sense. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Portraiture category:

Let proportion be found not only in numbers and measures, but also in sounds, weights, times, and positions, and what ever force there is. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Possibilities category:

How painting surpasses all human works by reason of the subtle possibilities which it contains. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Possibilities category:

The knowledge of all things is possible. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Practice category:

Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Problems category:

Every obstacle is destroyed through rigor. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Purpose category:

May your work be in keeping with your purpose and design. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Quality category:

I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Questions category:

I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand... These questions and other strange phenomena engage my thought throughout my life. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Relaxation category:

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. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Revelation category:

Painting is Poetry which is seen and not heard and Poetry is a painting which is heard and not seen. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Sculpture category:

Sculpture, a very noble art, is one that does not in the execution require the same supreme ingenuity as the art of painting, since in two most important and difficult particulars, in foreshortening and in light and shade... the painter has to invent a process, [whereas] sculpture is helped by nature. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Seeing category:

The eye encompasses the beauty of the whole world. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Seeing category:

The soul is content to stay imprisoned in the human body... for through the eyes all the various things of nature are represented to the soul. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Seeing category:

The instant the atmosphere is illuminated it will be filled with an infinite number of images which are produced by the various bodies and colours assembled in it. And the eye is the target, a lodestone, of these images. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Senses category:

The five senses are the ministers of the soul. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Senses category:

The lover is drawn by the thing loved, as the sense is by that which it perceives... (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Skill category:

Painting embraces and contains within itself all the things which nature produces or which results from the fortuitous actions of men... he is but a poor master who makes only a single figure well. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Solitude category:

The painter or draftsman ought to be solitary, in order that the well-being of the body not sap the vigour of the mind. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Solitude category:

If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Space category:

Who would believe that so small a space could contain the images of the whole universe? (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Spectator category:

All the bystanders at an event worthy of note adopt various gestures of admiration when contemplating the occurrence. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Standards category:

The painter will produce pictures of little merit if he takes the works of others as his standard. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Studio category:

An artist's studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind and large ones distract it. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Studio category:

Small rooms or dwellings set the mind in the right path; large ones cause it to go astray. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Subject category:

A good painter is to paint two main things, namely, man and the workings of man's mind. The first is easy, the second difficult... (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Theory category:

The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Time category:

The days are long enough for those who use them. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Understanding category:

You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure what you do not understand. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Vanity category:

Why seek to embarrass [the artist] with vanities foreign to his quietness? Know you not that certain sciences require the whole man, leaving no part of him at leisure for your trifles? (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Vision category:

The poet ranks far below the painter in the representation of visible things, and far below the musician in that of invisible things. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Words category:

Men and words are ready made, and you, O Painter, if you do not know how to make your figures move, are like an orator who knows not how to use his words. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Leonardo da Vinci - From the Writing category:

Feathers shall raise men even as they do birds, toward heaven: - that is by letters written with their quills. (Leonardo da Vinci)



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Last modified: October 22, 2014