C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Milton was a genius that could cut a colossus from a rock, but could not carve heads upon cherry-stones.

Dr. Johnson.

Such is the strength of art, rough things to shape.

James Howell.

And the cold marble leapt to life, a god.


Here the marble statues breathe in rows.


Then marble, soften’d into life, grew warm.


Like the Grecian, woos the image he himself has wrought.


It was Dante who called this noble art God’s grandchild.

Washington Allston.

He, like Amphion, makes those quarries leap into fair figures from a confused heap.


Thy shape in every part so clean as might instruct the sculptor’s art.


Then sculpture and her sister arts revived; stones leaped to form, and rocks began to live.


Madame de Staël pronounced architecture to be frozen music; so is statuary crystallized spirituality.


Where are the forms the sculptor’s soul hath seized? In him alone. Can nature show as fair?


The value of statuary is owing to its difficulty. You would not value the finest head cut upon a carrot.

Dr. Johnson.

The statue lies hid in a block of marble; and the art of the statuary only clears away the superfluous matter, and removes the rubbish.


  • The marble index of a mind forever
  • Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.
  • Wordsworth.

  • Sculpture is more than painting. It is greater
  • To raise the dead to life than to create
  • Phantoms that seem to live.
  • Longfellow.

    The sculptor does not work for the anatomist, but for the common observer of life and nature.


    The beauty of a plastic work is, above all, plastic; and an art always degenerates when, discarding its own peculiar means for exciting interest, it borrows those of another art.


  • A sculptor wields
  • The chisel, and the stricken marble grows
  • To beauty.
  • Bryant.

  • So stands the statue that enchants the world,
  • So bending tries to veil the matchless boast,
  • The mingled beauties of exulting Greece.
  • Thomson.

    Sculpture is not the mere cutting of the form of anything in stone; it is the cutting of the effect of it. Very often the true form, in the marble, would not be in the least like itself.


    Sculptors are obliged to follow the manners of the painters, and to make many ample folds, which are unsufferable hardness, and more like a rock than a natural garment.


    The idea of the painter and the sculptor is undoubtedly that perfect and excellent example of the mind, by imitation of which imagined form all things are represented which fall under human sight.


    Moral beauty is the basis of all true beauty. This foundation is somewhat covered and veiled in Nature. Art brings it out, and gives it more transparent forms.

    Victor Cousin.

  • The stone unhewn and cold
  • Becomes a living mould,
  • The more the marble wastes
  • The more the statue grows.
  • Michael Angelo.

    The sculptor must paint with his chisel; half his touches are not to realize, but to put power into, the form. They are touches of light and shadow, and raise a ridge, or sink a hollow, not to represent an actual ridge or hollow, but to get a line of light, or a spot of darkness.


    In sculpture did ever anybody call the Apollo a fancy piece? Or say of the Laocoön how it might be made different? A masterpiece of art has in the mind a fixed place in the chain of being, as much as a plant or a crystal.


    The ideal is to be obtained by selecting and assembling in one whole the beauties and perfections which are usually seen in different individuals, excluding everything defective or unseemly, so as to form a type or model of the species.

    William Fleming.

  • Sculpture is more divine, and more like Nature,
  • That fashions all her works in high relief,
  • And that is Sculpture. This vast ball, the Earth,
  • Was moulded out of clay, and baked in fire;
  • Men, women, and all animals that breathe
  • Are statues, and not paintings.
  • Longfellow.