As a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.

Georges Bizet in a letter to Edmond Galabert, October 1866

In art, immorality cannot exist. Art is always sacred. (Auguste Rodin)

Nobody knows if the portraits of the great men resemble them, it is enough that their genius lives there.—Napoleon to David

First come I. My name is Jowett.
There’s no knowledge but I know it.
I am Master of this College,
What I don’t know isn’t knowledge.

Satirical verses like this are a tradition of First stanza of the Balliol College at Oxford, the style and meter are known as Balliol rhyme. This is from The Masque of B-ll–l, a longer poem consisting of such ditties. Jowett (I have restored the vowels for better readability) is Benjamin Jowett, Master of the aforementioned college.

Painting should only attempt to show the exalting and beautiful, or at least serene, but never misery.

Arnold Böcklin, quoted by Rudolf Schick in his diaries under the year 1868. Schick is to Böcklin what Boswell is to Johnson and Eckermann to Goethe.

Puisque Corneille est mort,
Qui nous donnait du pain,
Nous vivrons de Racine,
Ou nous mourrons de faim.

Anonymous ditty on the death of Pierre Corneille 1684.

No, I’d have no light there.

August Riedel, who lived in Rome since 1828, when asked if he wanted to return to Germany.

Ci-git, dans une paix profonde,
Cette Dame de Volupté,
Qui, pour plus de sureté,
Fit son paradis dans ce monde.

Epitaphe de Jeanne Baptiste d’Albert de Luynes, comtesse de Verrue (1670-1736).

Boucher is one of those men who represent the taste of a century, who express, personify and embody it. (Frères Goncourt)

Trop verte et mal éclairé.

Too green and badly lit: François Boucher about nature in a letter to Nicolas Lancret.

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