Beauty Goes Unrecognized

Seek not to discover the deficiencies and imperfections in works of art before you have learned to recognize and find beauty. This memorandum is based on my daily experience of observing that beauty goes unrecognized by the majority of people because they wish to play the critic before they have begun to be students. They are like schoolboys who are all clever enough to discover the weaknesses of the schoolmaster. Our vanity will not allow us to pass by with only an idle gaze, and our self-complacency wants to be flattered; therefore we seek to pass judgment. But just as it is easier to make a negative statement than a positive one, so imperfections are much more easy to observe and detect than perfection; and it takes less effort to judge others than it takes to improve ourselves.

Winckelmann

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