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John Singer Sargent

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A portrait is a picture in which there is something not quite right about the mouth.
Thoughts on portrait painting...

John Singer Sargent

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A great portrait is always more a portrait of the painter than of the painted.

Samuel (novelist Butler

An example: if I compose a picture using as objects a scrap of bark, a scrap of butterfly wing and a purely imaginary form, you probably won’t recognise the bark, or the butterfly wing, and you’ll say: ‘What does this stand for? It is an abstract picture. No it’s a representational picture’.. ..There is no such thing as ‘abstract’, or ‘concrete’ either. There is a good picture and a bad picture. There is the picture that moves you and the picture that leaves you cold.. ..A picture has a value in itself, like a musical score, like a poem.

Fernand Leger

I touch your mouth, I touch the edge of your mouth with my finger, I am drawing it as if it were something my hand was sketching, as if for the first time your mouth opened a little, and all I have to do is close my eyes to erase it and start all over again, every time I can make the mouth I want appear, the mouth which my hand chooses and sketches on your face, and which by some chance that I do not seek to understand coincides exactly with your mouth which smiles beneath the one my hand is sketching on you.

Julio Cortazar

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but truth is something that arises out of the relationship between language and the world. If I look at a picture alone, it tells me nothing. In the previous incarnation of this lecture, I was going to put a picture of the Titanic and the Lusitania up on the screen. They look very, very similar - four smokestacks. They look almost identical. You look at either picture, true or false? Neither. Put a caption at the bottom of one of them, that changes everything. If you put in the caption, "This is the Lusitania," and the picture is a picture of the Lusitania, then the caption is true. However, the picture itself is neither true nor false. It's just a picture.

Errol Morris

Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind's eye and you will be drawn toward it. Picture yourself vividly as defeated and that alone will make victory impossible. Picture yourself vividly as winning, and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Do not picture yourself as anything and you will drift like a derelict.

Harry Emerson Fosdick
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