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Who said: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, ... finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell ... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > Sir Joshua Reynolds Quotes

Sir Joshua Reynolds
(16 Jul 1723 - 23 Feb 1792)

English painter who was the most influential artist in the latter half of the eighteenth century. He became the first president of the Royal Academy when it was founded in 1768, and thereafter delivered annual Discourses on Art (1769-90). His 2000 paintings include portraits and landscapes.

Science Quotes by Sir Joshua Reynolds (5 quotes)

Excellence is never granted to man, but as the reward of labour.
— Sir Joshua Reynolds
From 'A Discourse Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of Prizes' (11 Dec 1769), in Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy (1778), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Excellence (39)  |  Grant (73)  |  Labour (98)  |  Man (2249)  |  Never (1087)  |  Reward (68)

Genius is supposed to be a power of producing excellences which are put of the reach of the rules of art: a power which no precepts can teach, and which no industry can acquire.
— Sir Joshua Reynolds
From 'A Discourse Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of Prizes' (10 Dec 1774), in Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy (1778), 202-203.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Art (657)  |  Excellence (39)  |  Genius (285)  |  Industry (137)  |  Power (747)  |  Precept (10)  |  Reach (281)  |  Rule (295)  |  Teach (278)  |  Teaching (188)

I am convinced that this is the only means of advancing science, of clearing the mind from a confused heap of contradictory observations, that do but perplex and puzzle the Student, when he compares them, or misguide him if he gives himself up to their authority; but bringing them under one general head, can alone give rest and satisfaction to an inquisitive mind.
— Sir Joshua Reynolds
From 'A Discourse Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of Prizes' (11 Dec 1770), in Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy (1778), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (62)  |  Alone (312)  |  Authority (96)  |  Compare (70)  |  Confusion (57)  |  Contradiction (68)  |  Do (1908)  |  General (511)  |  Head (81)  |  Heap (14)  |  Himself (461)  |  Inquisitiveness (5)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (580)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Observation (560)  |  Perplex (6)  |  Puzzle (44)  |  Rest (281)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Science (3880)  |  Student (301)

If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiencies. Nothing is denied to well-directed labour; nothing is ever to be attained without it.
— Sir Joshua Reynolds
From 'A Discourse Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of Prizes' (11 Dec 1769), in Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy (1778), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (153)  |  Attain (125)  |  Deficiency (12)  |  Deny (67)  |  Direct (225)  |  Effort (227)  |  Great (1575)  |  Industry (137)  |  Labour (98)  |  Moderate (6)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Supply (93)  |  Talent (96)  |  Will (2354)

There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.[Greatly abbreviated and paraphrased.]
— Sir Joshua Reynolds
The original 1784 version of this quote begins “A provision of endless apparatus…” (see elsewhere on this page). Over the years, the original 35-word quote has been paraphrased, re-paraphrased and abbreviated to these 18 words. In this form, it was published by B.C. Forbes in 'Why Do So Many Men Never Amount to Anything?',The American Magazine (Jan 1921). The journalist, having visited Thomas Edison’s laboratory, wrote that Edison showed him a placard inscribed with this quote, including the name of Joshua Reynolds, with the intention of having copies placed “all over the plant.” The quote was subsequently repeated by other writers, (describing Edison’s use of the sign), some of whom omitted the name of Joshua Reynolds incorrectly implying attribution to Edison.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (116)  |  Expedient (4)  |  Labor (107)  |  Man (2249)  |  Resort (8)  |  Thinking (415)  |  Will (2354)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
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Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton


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