Quotations by Reynolds, Joshua


The great business of study is to form a mind adapted and adequate to all times and all occasions; to which all nature is then laid open, and which may be said to possess the key of her inexhaustible riches.

Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) British painter, critic
“Discourse Eleven” (10 Dec 1782)
Added on 15-Jan-15 | Last updated 15-Jan-15
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The real character of a man is found out by his amusements.

Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) British painter, critic
(Attributed)

In Samuel Arthur Bent, Short Sayings of Great Men (1882).
Added on 19-Mar-13 | Last updated 19-Mar-13
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A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.

Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) British painter, critic
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Quoted in Bolster's Quarterly Magazine (Jul 1827)
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In the practice of art, as well as in morals, it is necessary to keep a watchful and jealous eye over ourselves; idleness, assuming the specious disguise of industry, will lull to sleep all suspicion of our want of an active exertion of strength. A provision of endless apparatus, a bustle of infinite enquiry and research, or even the mere mechanical labour of copying, may be employed, to evade and shuffle off real labour, — the real labour of thinking.

Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) British painter, critic
Speech to the Royal Academy, London (10 Dec 1784)
    (Source)

Paraphrased over a long period of time (and still attributed to Reynolds) as: "There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking."

The lecture was later described as the Twelfth Discourse in a 1797 collection of Reynolds' works.

Often attributed to Thomas Edison. More information here.

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If you have great talents, industry will improve them: if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency.

Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) British painter, critic
Speech to the Royal Academy, London (11 Dec 1769)
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