11 December 2013

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Art

In this article we'll collect Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Art. Related articles are listed at the bottom of the page.
Art must be in touch with nature —
and wherever that touch is gone, Art degenerates
—Swami Vivekananda
Image source: Wikimedia Commons 
  • Art is — representing the beautiful. There must be Art in everything.[Source]
  • Art must be in touch with nature — and wherever that touch is gone, Art degenerates — yet it must be above nature.[Source]
  • Drama is the most difficult of all arts. In it two things are to be satisfied -- first, the ears, and second, the eyes. To paint a scene, if one thing be painted, it is easy enough; but to paint different things and yet to keep up the central interest is very difficult. Another difficult thing is stage - management, that is, combining different things in such a manner as to keep the central interest intact.[Source]
  • Even luxuries are arranged according to ideas and ideals, to make them reflect as much of thought-life as possible — and this is Art.[Source]
  • Every artist paints his Madonna according to his own pre-conceived ideas.[Source]
  • Everything progresses in waves. The march of civilization, the progression of worlds, is in waves. All human activities likewise progress in waves — art, literature, science, religion.[Source]
  • High achievements in art, music, etc., are the results of concentration.[Source]
  • In art, interest must be centred on the principal theme.[Source]
  • Is there no room for art in the spoken language? What is the use of creating an unnatural language to the exclusion of the natural one?[Source] (on 19th century's Bengali language)
  • Music is the highest art and, to those who understand is the highest worship.[Source]
  • Science, art, learning and metaphysical research all have their proper functions in life, but if you seek to blend them, you destroy their individual characteristics until, in time, you eliminate the spiritual, for instance, from the religious altogether.[Source]
  • The difference between architecture and building is that the former expresses an idea, while the latter is merely a structure built on economical principles. The value of matter depends solely on its capacities of expressing ideas.[Source]
  • The sculptor, the painter the musician the dancer, or any artist, if he can first obtain celebrate in Paris, acquires very easily the esteem and eulogy of other countries.[Source]
  • The secret of Greek Art is its imitation of nature even to the minutest details; whereas the secret of Indian Art is to represent the ideal. The energy of the Greek painter is spent in perhaps painting a piece of flesh, and he is so successful that a dog is deluded into taking it to be a real bit of meat and so goes to bite it. Now, what glory is there in merely imitating nature? Why not place an actual bit of flesh before the dog?[Source]

Only trained eyes can understand and appreciate art

From Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume V[Source]
When I began to listen to the music with attention and study it minutely, I came more and more to understand it, and I was lost in admiration. Such is the case with every art. In glancing at a highly finished painting we cannot understand where its beauty lies. Moreover, unless the eye is, to a certain extent, trained, one cannot appreciate the subtle touches and blendings, the inner genius of a work of art.

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