Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Sir Joshua Reynolds

Quote of the Day

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Self portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Enthusiastic admiration seldom promotes knowledge.

Sir Joshua Reynolds, Seven Discourses on Art

Enthusiastic admiration is the first principle of knowledge, and its last…It is evident that Reynolds wished none but fools to be in the arts; and in order to this, he calls all others vague enthusiasts or madmen. What has reasoning to do with the art of painting?

William Blake, in a marginal note in Reynolds’s book

Written by nevalalee

January 26, 2017 at 7:30 am

“You must have no dependence on your genius…”

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Self portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds

There is one precept, however, in which I shall only be opposed by the vain, the ignorant, and the idle. I am not afraid that I shall repeat it too often. You must have no dependence on your genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency. Nothing is denied to well-directed labour; nothing is to be obtained without it. Not to enter into metaphysical discussions on the nature or essence of genius, I will venture to assert, that assiduity unabated by difficulty, and a disposition eagerly directed to the object of its pursuit, will produce effects similar to those which some call the result of natural powers.

Sir Joshua Reynolds

Written by nevalalee

November 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

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