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French Quotes

From Marco Polo to Paul Carvel, this is a selection that will give you an excellent and entertaining glimpse into the mindset of these Italian historical and celebrated figures.

Enjoy the wisdom, the amusement and the revelation contained in the quotes from Italy's greatest.

The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) - scientist, Christian philosopher and author

If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent him.

Voltaire (1694-1778) - French Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher

Your body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced.

Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) - erotic and philosophic author

The luck of having talent is not enough; one must also have a talent for luck

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) - French Romantic composer

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.

George Sand (1804-1876) - feminist author

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists

The history of modern art is also the history of the progressive loss of art's audience. Art has increasingly become the concern of the artist and the bafflement of the public.

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) - leading Post-Impressionist painter

A legal kiss is never as good as a stolen one

Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) - French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story

Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.

André Gide (1869—1951) - French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947

A poem is never finished, only abandoned.

Paul Valéry (1871-1945) - French poet, essayist, and philosopher

The only love affair I have ever had was with music.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) - French composer of Impressionist music

French painting today is the only school which counts; only it plunders the universe for the logic of the great traditions, only it is full of life.

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) - French poet, writer and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother

Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.

Le Corbusier (1887-1965) - Swiss-French architect, designer and urbanist

I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art -- and much more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in its social position.

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) - French artist associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements

The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900—1944) - French writer and aviator

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) - French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist and literary critic

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) - a French author, philosopher, and journalist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957