Ralph Waldo Emerson quote about beauty from Art - As soon as beauty is sought, not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.
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As soon as beauty is sought, not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.
 Ralph Waldo Emerson, Art (1841). copy citation

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Author Ralph Waldo Emerson
Source Art
Topic beauty pleasure
Date 1841
Language English
Reference in "Essays: First Series"
Note
Weblink https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Essays:_First_Series/Art

Context

“Art makes the same effort which a sensual prosperity makes; namely, to detach the beautiful from the useful, to do up the work as unavoidable, and, hating it, pass on to enjoyment. These solaces and compensations, this division of beauty from use, the laws of nature do not permit. As soon as beauty is sought, not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker. High beauty is no longer attainable by him in canvas or in stone, in sound, or in lyrical construction; an effeminate, prudent, sickly beauty, which is not beauty, is all that can be formed; for the hand can never execute any thing higher than the character can inspire.” source

Meaning and analysis

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