Consistency Is the Last Refuge of the Unimaginative

Oscar Wilde? James McNeill Whistler? Ralph Waldo Emerson? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: Being consistent is important in life. Yet, additional knowledge and experience motivates new thoughts and behaviors. The following adage criticizes the straitjacket of excessive consistency: Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. The famous Irish wit Oscar Wilde has received credit …

“But You Did That in Thirty Seconds.” “No, It Has Taken Me Forty Years To Do That.”

Pablo Picasso? Mark H. McCormack? James McNeill Whistler? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: A rapidly created artwork may still be quite valuable. An anecdote illustrating this point features Pablo Picasso and a pestering art lover. Would you please explore whether this tale is authentic or apocryphal? Quote Investigator: The earliest instance of the Pablo Picasso vignette …

“The Labour of Two Days, Is That for Which You Ask Two Hundred Guineas!” “No; I Ask It for the Knowledge of a Lifetime.”

James McNeill Whistler? Pablo Picasso? John Ruskin? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: According to legend a famous painter once created a work of art in a very rapid and seemingly slipshod fashion. Yet the price assigned to the piece was exorbitant. The artist was asked why the price of the painting was so large when the …

“I Wish I Had Said That” “You Will, Oscar, You Will”

Oscar Wilde? James McNeill Whistler? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: I would like to learn more about a famous anecdote involving James McNeill Whistler, the painter who is known for his iconic portrait of his mother. Apparently, Whistler was able to trump Oscar Wilde, one of the greatest wits of the nineteenth century who was occasionally …

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