Quotes on Beauty

Photo by Hamed Saber.

Photo by Hamed Saber.

Quotes on beauty, from ancient times to the present day. Quotes arranged alphabetically by author. Updated regularly.


Beauty awakens the soul to act.
––Dante Alighieri

Every time you see a beautiful woman, just remember, somebody got tired of her.
––Anonymous/Unknown

By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else. From beauty no road leads to reality.
––Hannah Arendt

Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.
––Kevyn Aucoin

Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.
––Aristotle

Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise.
––Marcus Aurelius

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
––Francis Bacon

I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals.
Brigitte Bardot

Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude, and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.
––Jacqueline Bisset

Exuberance is beauty.
––William Blake

I slept and dreamt that life was beauty; I woke and found that life was duty.
––Lord Byron

Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.
––Albert Camus

Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.
––Coco Chanel

I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.
––Coco Chanel

I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.
––Charlie Chaplin

The problem with beauty is that it's like being born rich and getting poorer.
––Joan Collins

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
––Confucius

Beauty is not caused. It is.
––Emily Dickinson

Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest.
––Christian Dior

Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.
––John Donne

Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it has not been fathomed, for God sends us nothing but riddles.
––Fyodor Dostoevsky

Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.
––ibid

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
––Albert Einstein

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
––ibid

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
––ibid

Love of beauty is Taste. The creation of beauty is Art.
––Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.
––ibid

Beauty is an outward gift, which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.
––ibid

To me, beauty and sadness are very closely linked. Truly beautiful things make me sad because I know they are going to fade. When I see a beautiful 20-year-old boy or girl––and they are breathtaking––I am filled with a kind of sadness. But maybe they are beautiful because we know they are not permanent and they are in a kind of transition.
––Tom Ford

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
––Kahlil Gibran

Of life's two chief prizes, beauty and truth, I found the first in a loving heart and the second in a laborer's hand.
––ibid

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
––Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.
––ibid

Always think of what is useful and not what is beautiful. Beauty will come of its own accord.
––Nikolai Gogol

The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.
––Nadine Gordimer

Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.
––Stephen Hawking

Is she pretty on the inside? Is she pretty from the back?
––"Pretty on the Inside," Hole

Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder.
––Aldous Huxley

Beauty is a precious trace that eternity causes to appear to us and that it takes away from us. A manifestation of eternity, and a sign of death as well.
––Eugene Ionesco

Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
––Franz Kafka

Beauty is merciless. You do not look at it, it looks at you and does not forgive.
––Nikos Kazantzakis

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
––Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
––ibid

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.
––ibid

What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!
––H. P. Lovecraft

Beauty and the devil are the same thing.
––Robert Mapplethorpe

Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
––W. Somerset Maugham

Most of us have had moments in childhood when we touched the divine presence. We did not think it extraordinary because it wasn't; it was just a beautiful moment filled with love. In those simple moments our hearts were alive, and we saw the poignant beauty of life vividly with wonder and appreciation.
––David and Bruce McArthur

Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.
––Michelangelo

If in my youth I had realized that the sustaining splendour of beauty of with which I was in love would one day flood back into my heart, there to ignite a flame that would torture me without end, how gladly would I have put out the light in my eyes.
––ibid

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.
––Friedrich Nietzsche

Beauty is a fragile gift.
––Ovid

Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.
––Blaise Pascal

I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn't of much value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them.
––Boris Pasternak

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.
––Miss Piggy

Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.
––Plato

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
––Edgar Allen Poe

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
––ibid

...beauty is nothing but
the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,
and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains
to destroy us.
––Rainer Maria Rilke, the First Duino Elegy

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
––Eleanor Roosevelt

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.
––Rumi

Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light.
––John Ruskin

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
––John Ruskin

Taking joy in living is a woman's best cosmetic.
––Rosalind Russell

The beauty that addresses itself to the eyes is only the spell of the moment; the eye of the body is not always that of the soul.
––George Sand

I hope you have lost your good looks, for while they last any fool can adore you, and the adoration of fools is bad for the soul.
––George Bernard Shaw, to Mrs. Patrick Campbell

Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?
––ibid

Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love.
––ibid

Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.
––ibid

Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.
––Percy Bysshe Shelley

Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind.
––Socrates

Beauty is the promise of happiness.
––Stendhal

The perception of beauty is a moral test.
––Henry David Thoreau

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
––Leo Tolstoy, What is Art?

I find it hard to believe you don't know
The beauty you are
But if you don't, let me be your eyes
––"I'll Be Your Mirror," The Velvet Underground

We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it.
––Hans Urs von Balthasar

Beauty is the disinterested one, without which the ancient world refused to understand itself, a word which both imperceptibly and yet unmistakably has bid farewell to our new world, a world of interests, leaving it to its own avarice and sadness.
––ibid

Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance.
––ibid

Beauty always promises, but never gives anything.
––Simone Weil

No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.
––Oscar Wilde

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
––Maryanne Williamson

Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
––Mary Wollstonecraft

The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this.
––William Wordsworth

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