Monday, July 30, 2012


Without boldness, and extreme boldness, there are no beauties. One must dare to be oneself. One must be very bold. Thus one has to surpass oneself, in order to be everything one can be… There can be no rules for great souls; rules are only for those who have merely a talent that can be acquired—not for genius… The most sublime effects are often the result of pictorial license. For example, the unfinished appearance of Rembrandt’s works, and the exaggerations in Rubens. Mediocre men never have such daring, they never go beyond themselves. Method cannot supply a rule for everything, it can only lead everyone to a certain point.                                    Besides having generally conservative instincts, the painter was also a classicist, a solitary, a talented writer and an altogether engaging man. In John Russell’s words, “Delacroix in his Journal is one of the most cogent arguments for the human race. That we are in the company of a great man is never in doubt. But whereas not every great man gains from proximity, or can usefully be studied in isolation from his work, Delacroix the diarist begins with our respect and ends, just on half a million words later, with our unbounded affection. Incomplete as they are, his diaries rank among the fragmenta aurea of European civilization. They are passionate but not scabrous, worldly but not heartless, intimate but not indiscreet, animated but not rackety, profound but not ponderous, discursive but not self-indulgent. Above all, they are truthful and direct.”

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