congruent quotations

For, don’t you mark? we’re made so that we love

First when we see them painted, things we have passed

Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;

And so they are better painted–better to us,

Which is the same thing. Art was given for that;

God uses us to help each other so,

Lending our minds out.

–Robert Browning, “Fra Lippo Lippi,”


“The greatest benefit we owe to the artist, whether painter, poet, or novelist, is the extension of our sympathies…. A picture of human life such as a great artist can give, surprises even the trivial and the selfish into that attention to what is apart from themselves, which may be called the raw material of moral sentiment…. Art is the nearest thing to life; it is a mode of amplifying experience and extending our contact beyond the bounds of our personal lot.” –George Eliot, 1856