Top Portrait Quotes

Browse top 264 famous quotes and sayings about Portrait by most favorite authors.

Favorite Portrait Quotes

1. "Maybe you know something about young people, and maybe you don't. I, having been one myself once upon a time, know a few things about them. One thing I know is that if you don't want one to do something - for example, go into a room where there's a portrait of an unbearably beautiful princess- saying "It might cost you your life" is about the worst thing you can possibly say. Because then that's all that young person will want to do. I mean, why didn't Johannes say something else? Like, "It's a broom closet. Why? you want to see a broom closet?" Or, "It's a fake door, silly. For decoration." Or even, "It's the ladies' bathroom, Your Majesty. Best not go poking your head in there."
Author: Adam Gidwitz
2. "To sit for one's portrait is like being present at one's own creation."
Author: Alexander Smith
3. "A journalist is supposed to present an unbiased portrait of an event, a view devoid of intimate emotions. This is impossible, of course. The framing of an image, by its very composition, represents a choice. The photographer chooses what to show and what to exclude."
Author: Alexandra Kerry
4. "A gentle, quiet young man who might sit languid at her feet and read his verses to her or who might paint or draw her portrait. He would hold her hand and whisper how beautiful she was, how precious to him. Of course you mustn't play the pianoforte, he would say. Only silly females who have no higher accomplishments squander their strength on such an empty pastime. Dancing? No, that is far too fatiguing. May I sit beside you and fan you while you read?"
Author: Ann Herendeen
5. "When I'm painting and drawing I only do people. Acting is obviously portraiture - and writing is as well."
Author: Antony Sher
6. "Offstage, she fixed him in place with compliments and ironic bossiness, and he tended not to look at her at all when they spoke. He was the only one in the band she called by name, implying a permanence to his position that was professionally reassuring but personally debilitating. When they wrote together or when one presented the other with something prepared in private, with no audience to absorb the excess, he felt the room crowding with their other selves, lives unled and correspondences unwritten, happiness opted against, and he could not believe she did not see it, too. He sweated to ornament her fears and tall tales and fake portraits, and with the remnants of his energy he hid the rest of himself from her. The best of him was a child's drawing of her on an off day."
Author: Arthur Phillips
7. "Watching Paris is Burning, I began to think that the many yuppie-looking, straight -acting, pushy, predominantly white folks in the audience were there because the film in no way interrogates "whiteness." These folks left the film saying it was "amazing," "marvellous," incredibly funny," worthy of statements like, "Didn't you just love it?" And no, I didn't love it. For in many ways the film was a graphic documentary portrait of the way in which colonized black people (in this case black gay brothers, some of whom were drag queens) worship at the throne of whiteness, even when such worship demands that we live in perpetual self-hate, steal, go hungry, and even die in its pursuit. The "we" evoked here is all of us, black people/people of color, who are daily bombarded by a powerful colonizing whiteness that seduces us away from ourselves, that negates that there is beauty to be found in any form of blackness that is not imitation whiteness."
Author: Bell Hooks
8. "LifeThe machineThe human soulA 75mm breechMy portrait"
Author: Blaise Cendrars
9. "Making a decision based on fear is like painting a self-portrait of someone else."
Author: Charles F. Glassman
10. "In response to a plea in early 1941 from his colleague and friend, the writer Marietta Shaginyan, who was newly infatuated with the Piano Quintet and its creator, Mickhail Zoshchenko drafted for her a portrait of the Shostakovich he knew, a deeply complex individual:"It seemed to you that he is "frail, fragile, withdrawn, an infinitely direct, pure child." That is so. But if it were only so, then great art (as with him) would never be obtained. He is exactly what you say he is, plus something else — he is hard, acid, extremely intelligent, strong perhaps, despotic and not altogether good-natured (although cerebrally good-natured).That is the combination in which he must be seen. And then it may be possible to understand his art to some degree.In him, there are great contradictions. In him, one quality obliterates the other. It is conflict in the highest degree. It is almost a catastrophe."Quoted in Laurel Fay: Shostakovich, a Life."
Author: Dmitri Shostakovich
11. "It is done... the precious portrait placed in the hands of the gentlemen for safe keeping."
Author: Dolley Madison
12. "(The fact that this was a fairly accurate portrait of my own mother is a quick indicator of how difficult it once was for me to tell the difference between myself and the powerful woman who had raised me.)"
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
13. "Queen Alyss, my guards have discovered something you should see."Her face had relaxed at the sight of him, but her brow at once contracted, her lips thinned with tension.We've found evidence of suspicious activity in the palace," he said.What sort of activity?"You might want to step this way and see for youself. I apologize in advance for you having to set foot in a gaurdsman's quaters."He led her into his rooms. The boyish portrait of Sir Justice, the fire crystals in the hearth, the elegantly arrayed table: Alyss blinked in puzzlement.What is all this?"My best guess, You Majesty, is that it's breakfast, but I can't be sure until we taste it."
Author: Frank Beddor
14. "I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you."
Author: Frida Kahlo
15. "An important dimension of Tess of the d'Urbervilles is its debt to the oral tradition; to stories about wronged milkmaids, tales of superstition, and stories of love, betrayal and revenge, involving stock figures. This gives Tess of the d'Urbervilles an anti-realistic inflection. From the world of ballad and folktale Hardy draws such fateful coincidences as the failure of Angel to encounter Tess at the ‘Club-walking' on which he intrudes with his brothers, the letter to Angel that she accidentally slips under the carpet, the loss of her shoes when she tries to visit his family, and the family portraits on the wall of their honeymoon dwelling, as well as several omens. This chimes effectively with a world in which the rural folk have a superstitious and fatalistic attitude to life."
Author: Geoffrey Harvey
16. "Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare, or a witches sabbath or a portrait of the devil; but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That's because only a real artist knows the anatomy of the terrible, or the physiology of fear."
Author: H.P. Lovecraft
17. "Luna had decorated her bedroom ceiling with five beautifully painted faces: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville. They were not moving as the portraits at Hogwarts moved, but there was a certain magic about them all the same: Harry thought they breathed. What appeared to be fine golden chains wove around the pictures, linking them together, but after examining them for a minute or so, Harry realized that the chains were actually one word, repeated a thousand times in golden ink: friends . . . friends . . . friends . . ."
Author: J.K. Rowling
18. "A city is like a family portrait - you don't tear it up if you don't like your uncle's nose."
Author: Jaime Lerner
19. "Elizabeth Peyton, the artist known for tiny, dazzling portraits of radiant youth, is now painting tiny, dazzling portraits of radiant middle age."
Author: Jerry Saltz
20. "To accept the environmentalist argument that the suffering of individual animals is inconsequential compared to the ozone layer, we must be willing to admit that the sufferings of minority groups, raped women, battered wives, abused children, people sitting on death row, and our loved ones are small potatoes beneath the hole in the sky. To worry about any of them is, in effect, to miniaturize the big picture to portraits of battered puppy dogs."
Author: Karen Davis
21. "I wasn‘t—" I began. I didn‘t—" He began. How charming," V‘lane cut us off. His voice arrived before he did. "The very portrait of human domestic bliss. She‘s on the floor, you‘re towering over her. Did he strike you, MacKayla? Say the word and I‘ll kill him."
Author: Karen Marie Moning
22. "Henry Miller, Genet, Sade, Bataille are really important writers for me and I love them, but I feel often they don't love me, you know? I feel I always have to wrap my head around the way the girl is treated in the works, and the way the woman writer has been treated within their philosophies. I think of Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School, where Janey Smith is in an S&M relationship with Jean Genet, who she follows around the deserts of Algeria, and he's horrible to her, and that's what I think of when I think of my relationship to those writers. I think you have to read the text, obviously, despite that. You seem to be subverting Sade and Bataille's ideas of the whore, and Henry Miller – all of his cunt portraits, all of his horrors that he writes about – you're writing about it from an interiority and a subjectivity that we don't typically get with the ‘whore' or the ‘slut' or the sexual girl."
Author: Kate Zambreno
23. "The portrait rattles and goes still. I wonder if the dream would do my mother any good. I wonder if all that blackness has ever frightened her. I'd always assumed the children were on Internment, but do dreams have to be confined to the same place as the dreamer?"
Author: Lauren DeStefano
24. "I record my life, sifting and trying to separate what is real from what I've dreamed. I have decided not to tell you what is fact versus what is unfact primarily because (a) I am giving you a portrait of the essence of me, and (b) because, living where I do, living in the chasm that cuts through thought, it is lonely… come with me, reader. I am toying with you, yes, but for a real reason. I am asking you to enter the confusion with me, to give up the ground with me, because sometimes that frightening floaty place is really the truest of all. Kierkegaard says, ‘The greatest lie of all is the feeling of firmness beneath our feet. We are most honest when we are lost.' Enter that lostness with me. Live in the place I am, where the view is murky, where the connecting bridges and orienting maps have been surgically stripped away."
Author: Lauren Slater
25. "I prepare my portrait for my woman to hang on a wall when I die.she says: Is there a wall to hang it on?I say: We'll build a room for it. Where? In any house."
Author: Mahmoud Darwish
26. "Love You asked if love makes one happy. His promise's yes, be it for a day. Ah, who wouldn't want to live one day for love Then die? For life does live in love. As lover full of gentleness and fear, With his fires I painted his suffering, On his portrait I shed so many tears That his image became much less charming. If smile, that unexpected gleam, Broke out sometimes amidst my tears, It was love, unarmed, it was him, And heaven with him disappears. Deprived of love, the heart's icy. Yet he burns all, and poisons all. He sure knows how to rend a soul. Ask him if he makes one happy! You'll know, whatever may occur, That love will win by force or grace; And in the slow-healing fever he made You will suffer and make others suffer. Once found, his absence is torture, And when he's back, one shakes every hour. Often it's death that lives in love. And yet, love does make one happy."
Author: Marceline Desbordes Valmore
27. "I love going to galleries, particularly the National Portrait Gallery."
Author: Mark Gatiss
28. "I imagine John Watson thinks love's a mystery to me, but the chemistry is incredibly simple and very destructive. When we first met, you told me that a disguise is always a self portrait, how true of you, the combination to your safe – your measurements. But this is far more intimate. This is your heart, and you should never let it rule your head. You could have chosen any random number and walked out of here today with everything you worked for. But you just couldn't resist it, could you? I've always assumed that love is a dangerous disadvantage. Thank you for the final proof."
Author: Mark Gatiss
29. "For example, they recently had a piece on a character--I think his name was Ambrosio D'Urbervilles--whose "design statement" was to stuff an entire apartment from floor to ceiling with dark purple cottonballs. He called it "Portrait of a Dead Camel Dancing on the Roof of a Steambath."
Author: Mark Helprin
30. "Right now, scientists are in exactly the same position as Renaissance painters, commissioned to make the portrait the patron wants done, And if they are smart, they'll make sure their work subtly flatters the patron. Not overtly. Subtly."
Author: Michael Crichton
31. "Gus the driver is everywhere and yet he appears nowhere, not in portraits or photographs, not even in the stories of men like Barthelme and Carver, who were all about guys with jobs and prospects like Gus's but who insisted on more sorrow, more angst, than Gus remotely manifests. If Gus weeps sometimes for no reason, if he stands despairing in the aisle of a Wal-Mart, it is not apparent in his daily demeanor..."
Author: Michael Cunningham
32. "That was sort of our family portrait. It's not the kind of thing you think you would miss. Maybe you don't even notice it at all those thousands of times, sitting between your mum and dad on the big green couch with your brother on the carpet getting in the way of the telly. Maybe you don't even notice that.But you notice it when he isn't there anymore. You notice so many places where he isn't, and you hear so many of the things he doesn't say.I do.I hear them all the time."
Author: Nathan Filer
33. "And maybe one winter it will get too cold and I'll forget about the summers we once shared. My family portrait mightfold in too, producing the same horrific effect as Jeremy's: that I, all along, had another sibling who eclipsed and became me—a prosperous sibling, an imposturous sibling, who outgrew a sense of time and place in which the three of us were everything to one another. Then only my blood in the sea could unfold and lead me back out of the origami."
Author: Nicholaus Patnaude
34. "Large portraits of Mao on wooden boards several feet high stood at main street corners. Painted to make the old man look extremely youthful, healthy, and fat (a sign of well-being in China), these pictures provided a mocking contrast to the thin, pale-faced pedestrians walking listlessly below them. Pg. 193"
Author: Nien Cheng
35. "When they entered they found, hanging upon the wall, a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognised who it was."
Author: Oscar Wilde
36. "While nobody can pretend that Christian religious practice is thriving in most of Europe, the situation is nothing as grim as some recent accounts suggest, nor do the population statistics justify the portrait of a wholesale barbarian invasion from Muslim lands."
Author: Philip Jenkins
37. "You see?" Damien leaned over his desk and spread out half a dozen charcoal sketches. "These are only quick studies of course. But my agent in Florence tells me this artist, Leonardo, is a master and also quite an inventor of mechanical devices--which, as you know, are my passion. Leonardo just completed a portrait of Lisa de Giocondo. He calls it the Mona Lisa. I thought I might commission him to do a portrait of me, and while he's here, I can pick his mind for mechanical secrets. How does that sound?""Expensive," Gideon murmured."
Author: Rick Riordan
38. "I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed that the doctor's office was full of portraits by Picasso."
Author: Rita Rudner
39. "I often concentrate on the eyes and lips, they are great indicators of mood and feeling, and I find that I can project character into my portraits by bringing the viewer's attention to these areas."
Author: Robert Ryan
40. "Surely a good therapist should produce a Dorian Gray-style portrait from under the couch so the patient can see the person they really are."
Author: Rosamund Lupton
41. "I have provided a possible explanation for Antiochus's insane foolhardiness when left in command of the Athenian Fleet, because Thucidides's bald account is so unbelievable (unless one assumes that both Antiochus and Alkibiades were mentally defective) that any explanation seems more likely than none. Alkibiades himself is an enigma. Even allowing that no man is all black and all white, few men can ever have been more wildly and magnificently piebald. Like another strange and contradictory character Sir Walter Raleigh, he casts a glamour that comes clean down the centuries, a dazzle of personal magnetism that makes it hard to see the man behind it. I have tried to see. I have tried to fit the pieces into a coherent whole; I don't know whether I have been successful or not; but I do not think that I have anywhere falsified the portrait."
Author: Rosemary Sutcliff
42. "Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself."
Author: Samuel Butler
43. "Here was the real scandal of On Our Backs photography: We were women shooting other women — our names, faces, and bodies on the line — and we all brought our sexual agenda to the lens. Each pictorial was a memoir. That is quite the opposite of a fashion shoot at Vogue or Playboy, where the talent is a prop…When we began our magazine, female fashion and portrait models — all of them — were shot the same way kittens and puppies are photographed for holiday calendars: in fetching poses, with no intentions of their own."
Author: Susie Bright
44. "In that face, deformed by hatred of philosophy, I saw for the first time the portrait of the Antichrist, who does not come from the tribe of Judas, as his heralds have it, or from a far country. The Antichrist can be born from piety itself, from excessive love of God or of the truth, as the heretic is born from the saint and the possessed from the seer. Fear prophets, Adso, and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them. Jorge did a diabolical thing because he loved his truth so lewdly that he dared anything in order to destroy falsehood."
Author: Umberto Eco
45. "'The Portrait of Dorian Grey' beautifully articulates how the altruistic part of ourselves clashes with our essentially narcissistic state."
Author: Walton Goggins
46. "I hope the artist who illustrates this work will take care to do justice to his portrait. Mr. Clive himself, let that painter be assured, will not be too well pleased if his countenance and figure do not receive proper attention."
Author: William Makepeace Thackeray
47. "When you take a photograph of someone, you take a portrait of their soul"
Author: Winna Efendi
48. "For me, an aerial picture is no different than a close-up portrait. It's a question of framing and angle. Helicopters are great for that. But I've also used planes. Of course, I always have a harness."
Author: Yann Arthus Bertrand
49. "For nearly two years, I was flying above the planet with my camera. I knew straight away that this was something important to do, just at this moment, a portrait of the planet for the millennium year. I worked in 80 countries, fighting for money all the time."
Author: Yann Arthus Bertrand
50. "I always take a close look at those who lose themselves in self portraits. They are solitary souls, prone to introspection, who have really grappled with their existence."
Author: Young Ha Kim

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Let's assume it was Christopher Columbus's "destiny" to discover the New World, and let's pretend he was consciously aware of that fact. What possible difference would that have made in his day-to-day life? He still had to build the boats."
Author: Chuck Klosterman

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