160 Art Quotes for Inspiration from Famous Artists

Art is a universal language that speaks to everyone in their own unique way.

It says what words cannot. It has the ability to move, inspire, and touch the soul.

Art is a wonderful resource for us to express our deepest ideas and feelings.

Leonardo da Vinci – (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)

And who better to draw inspiration from than some of history’s most acclaimed artists?

We’ll share some of the most inspirational art quotes from notable painters in this article to inspire you to dig into your creativity and create your best work.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci – (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)

Top 10 Art Quotes


Art is both creation and recreation. ~ Lin Yutang.


Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth. ~ Pablo Picasso.


Art is to console those who are broken by life. ~ Vincent Van Gogh.


If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint. ~ Edward Hopper.


Creativity takes courage. ~ Henri Matisse.


A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others. ~ Salvador Dalí.


Art is meant to disturb, science reassures. ~ Georges Braque.


A true masterpiece does not tell everything. ~ Albert Camus.


While drawing I discover what I really want to say. ~ Dario Fo.


Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom. ~ Leonardo da Vinci.

Also Read: 70 Creativity Quotes to Inspire You With New Ideas and 84 Imagination Quotes to Unlock Your Creativity

Amazing Art Quotes

The great artist is the simplifier. ~ Vincent van Gogh.

Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little. ~ Banksy.


I shut my eyes in order to see. ~ Paul Gauguin.

If the artist has outer and inner eyes for nature, nature rewards him by giving him inspiration. ~ Wassily Kandinsky.

The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity. ~ Alberto Giacometti.

Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious. ~ Oscar Wilde.


I dream my painting and I paint my dream. ~ Vincent Willem van Gogh.

Without tradition art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation it is a corpse. ~ Winston Churchill.

Obsessive people make great art. ~ Susan Sontag.

Beautiful Art Quotes

Every artist was first an amateur. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.


An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world. ~ George Santayana.

If you have a burning restless urge to paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass. ~ Fran Lebowitz.

A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others. ~ Salvador Dalí.

The great artist is the simplifier. ~ Vincent van Gogh.

What keeps my heart awake is colorful silence. ~ Claude Monet.


Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. ~ Pablo Picasso.

Art must destroy violence, only it can do it. ~ Leo Tolstoy.

Success is a worn down pencil. ~ Robert Rauschenberg.

I must have flowers, always, and always. ~ Claude Monet.


It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas. ~ Paul Cézanne.

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all. ~ Michelangelo.

Meaningful Art Quotes

Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves they have a better idea. ~ John Ciardi.

Art deteriorates when it is done for the audience. ~ James Pierce.

Art is what you can get away with. ~ Andy Warhol.


The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of. ~ Leonardo da Vinci.

Every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend. ~ John Singer Sargent.

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. ~ Aristotle.

A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light. ~ Leonardo da Vinci.


Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. ~ Edgar Degas.

I hate flowers. I paint them because they’re cheaper than models and they don’t move. ~ Georgia O’Keeffe.

Art is a line around your thoughts. ~ Gustav Klimt.

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

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~ Pablo Picasso.

Frida Kahlo – (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)

I paint flowers so they will not die. ~ Frida Kahlo.

Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God. ~ Rembrandt van Rijn.

Art is coming face to face with yourself. ~ Jackson Pollock.

Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment. ~ Claude Monet.

Thought-Provoking Art Quotes

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~ Scott Adams.


The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands. ~ Leonardo da Vinci.

The world is only as free as it allows its artists to be. ~ Rick Rubin.

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art. ~ Susan Sontag.

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one. ~ Charles Cooley.

Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. ~ Keith Haring.

We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. ~ John F. Kennedy.


Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. ~ Banksy.

The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul. ~ Wassily Kandinsky.

Art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something. ~ Rainbow Rowell.

Best Art Quotes

The Achilles heel of an artist lies in the hope that his art is good. ~ Kapil Gupta.


An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success. ~ Henri Matisse.

Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. ~ Peter O’Toole.

The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist. ~ Eric Gill.

The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself. ~ Paul Cézanne.

Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing. ~ Marc Chagall.

Raphael School of Athens Michelangelo – (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain)

I couldn’t give you something mediocre even if that’s all you asked for. ~ Michelangelo.

The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious. ~ Lester Bangs.

Art is the expression of the profoundest thoughts in the simplest way. ~ Albert Einstein.

An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s. ~ J.D. Salinger.


The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery. ~ Francis Bacon.

The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art. ~ George Bernard Shaw.

All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw? ~ Banksy.

It’s not enough to be nice in life. You’ve got to have nerve. ~ Georgia O’Keeffe.

Bad artists copy. Good artists steal. ~ Pablo Picasso.

Famous Art Quotes


The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. ~ Pablo Picasso.

Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you. ~ Chuck Klosterman.

The more we can get in tune with the harmony of the planet, the more our art can benefit from that relationship. ~ Rick Rubin.

The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel. ~ Piet Mondrian.

It is hard work and great art to make life not so serious. ~ John Irving.


The human body is the best work of art. ~ Jess C. Scott.

Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings. ~ Agnes Martin.

Art is not a thing, it is a way. ~ Elbert Hubbard.

Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it. ~ Samuel Butler.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~ Pablo Picasso.


A beautiful body perishes, but a work of art dies not. ~ Leonardo da Vinci.

I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn’t know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do. ~ Bob Ross.

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. ~ Oscar Wilde.


The urge to destroy is also a creative urge. ~ Mikhail Bakunin.

Powerful Art Quotes

In drawing, one must look for or suspect that there is more than is casually seen. ~ George Bridgman.

You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul. ~ George Bernard Shaw.

The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. ~ Paul Strand.


A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know. ~ Diane Arbus.

Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I accomplish. ~ Michelangelo.

There is no must in art because art is free. ~ Wassily Kandinsky.


A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art. ~ Paul Cézanne.

In the mind of every artist there is a masterpiece. ~ Kai Green.

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. ~ Leonardo da Vinci.

The principle of true art is not to portray, but to evoke. ~ Jerzy Kosiński.

For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh. ~ Georges Rouault.


Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television. ~ Woody Allen.

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

Inspiring Art Quotes

The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable. ~ Robert Henri.

Art without emotion its like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag. ~ Laurie Halse Anderson.

Art is my life and my life is art. ~ Yoko Ono.

Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer.


We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents. ~ Bob Ross.

I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art. ~ Carrie Fisher.

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson.

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision. ~ James Whistler.


Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere. ~ G.K. Chesterton.

To draw you must close your eyes and sing. ~ Pablo Picasso.

What art is, in reality, is this missing link, not the links which exist. It’s not what you see that is art; art is the gap. ~ Marcel Duchamp.

Profound Art Quotes

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. ~ Emile Zola.


We have art in order not to die of the truth. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. ~ Neil Gaiman.

Contrary to general belief, an artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs. ~ Edgard Varese.

Every good painter paints what he is. ~ Jackson Pollock.

The beautiful is always bizarre. ~ Charles Baudelaire.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. ~ Georgia O’Keeffe.


Look at life with the eyes of a child. ~ Henri Matisse.

If I close my eyes, I see things better than with my eyes open. ~ Henri Matisse.

An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please. ~ Andre Malraux.

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. ~ Pablo Picasso.


Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art. ~ Don Miguel Ruiz.

The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will spark off a revolution. ~ Paul Cézanne.

Thoughtful Art Quotes

Every canvas is a journey all its own. ~ Helen Frankenthaler.

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize. ~ Robert Hughes.

Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons. ~ Al Hirschfield.


No great work of art is ever finished. ~ Michelangelo.

I am a museum full of art but you had your eyes shut. ~ Rupi Kaur.

Art is man’s nature; nature is God’s art. ~ Philip James Bailey.

In any art you’re allowed to steal anything if you can make it better. ~ Ernest Hemingway.

I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint. ~ Frida Kahlo.


One eye sees, the other feels. ~ Paul Klee.

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. ~ Thomas Merton.

If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud. ~ Emile Zola.


It is only when we are no longer fearful that we begin to create. ~ J. M. W. Turner.

The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech. ~ Vincent Willem van Gogh.

Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it. ~ Leon Trotsky.

The chief enemy of creativity is good sense. ~ Pablo Picasso.

Art is never finished, only abandoned. ~ Leonardo da Vinci.


Everything you can imagine is real. ~ Pablo Picasso.

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing. ~ Marc Chagall.

All art is quite useless. ~ Oscar Wilde,

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. ~ Pablo Picasso.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it. ~ Ansel Adams.

Art is a way of recognizing oneself. ~ Louise Bourgeois.


Drawing at its best is not what your eyes see but what our mind understands. ~ Millard Sheets.

Art is making something out of nothing, and selling it. ~ Frank Zappa.

Art Quotes from Artists

There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. ~ Vincent Van Gogh.

The public wants to understand and learn in a single day, a single minute, what the artist has spent years learning. ~ Paul Gauguin.

Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. ~ Andy Warhol.

Art is the signature of civilizations. ~ Beverly Sills.

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.


The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them. ~ Anton Pavlovich Chekhov.

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does, the better. ~ André Gide.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. ~ Michelangelo.

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way. ~ Charles Bukowski.

So these were the 160 quotes about Art.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other popular blog posts on the topics of Growth Mindset quotes and Never Give Up quotes.

References and Sources:

  1. Art Quotes & Famous Artists Quotes | Jerry’s Artarama
  2. 101 Quotes about Art if you need some Inspiration
  3. 100 Quotes on Art & Creativity – Masterpiece Society
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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar