Decoration is the act of adorning, embellishing, or honoring; ornamentation. It is that which adorns, enriches, or beautifies; something added by way of embellishment; ornament. Specifically, it is any mark of honor to be worn upon the person, as a medal, cross, or ribbon of an order of knighthood, bestowed for services in war, great achievements in literature, art, etc.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- The rudest ruffian of the Middle Ages, when he looked at this Last Judgement, laughed for what was the Last Judgment to her! An ornament, a plaything, a pleasure! a jewelled decoration which she wore on her breast! Her chief joy was to pardon; her eternal instinct was to love; her deepest passion was pity!
- The life-boat may have a tasteful bend and beautiful decoration, but these are not the qualities for which I prize it; it was my salvation from the howling sea! So the interest which a regenerate soul takes in the Bible, is founded on a personal application to the heart of the saving truth which it contains.
- HALO, n. Properly, a luminous ring encircling an astronomical body, but not infrequently confounded with "aureola," or "nimbus," a somewhat similar phenomenon worn as a head-dress by divinities and saints. The halo is a purely optical illusion, produced by moisture in the air, in the manner of a rainbow; but the aureola is conferred as a sign of superior sanctity, in the same way as a bishop's mitre, or the Pope's tiara. In the painting of the Nativity, by Szedgkin, a pious artist of Pesth, not only do the Virgin and the Child wear the nimbus, but an ass nibbling hay from the sacred manger is similarly decorated and, to his lasting honor be it said, appears to bear his unaccustomed dignity with a truly saintly grace.
- Amber—a mineralized yellowish resin—was used in antiquity for decoration. In common with the bright shining silver-gold alloys, and gold itself, it was called "electron"; hence the word "electricity".
- Florian Cajori in: A history of physics in its elementary branches: including the evolution of physical laboratories, The Macmillan Company, 1917, p. 8
- We are left to worry about pictorial space almost by default. But, after all, the aim of art is to create space — space that is not compromised by decoration or illustration, space in which the subjects of painting can live. This is what painting has always been about.
- Caravaggio in: Art Theory and Criticism: An Anthology of Formalist, Avant-Garde ..., McFarland, 1 January 1995, p. 246
- I have sat, a minister and ambassador, covered with gold lace, gaudy with ribbons and decorations, at the table of kings, the feasts of princes and princesses, only to fall once more into indigence and know imprisonment.
- François-René de Chateaubriand in: Translated by A. S. Kline 2005, the Testamentary Preface 1833 François de Chateaubriand Mémoires d’outre-tombe, Preface:Sect2, poetryintranslation.com, 2005
- To Leonardo a landscape, like a human being, was part of a vast machine, to be understood part by part and, if possible, in the whole. Rocks were not simply decorative silhouettes. They were part of the earth's bones, with an anatomy of their own, caused by some remote seismic upheaval. Clouds were not random curls of the brush, drawn by some celestial artist, but were the congregation of tiny drops formed from the evaporation of the sea, and soon would pour back their rain into the rivers.
- Kenneth Clark quoted in: Michael J. Gelb How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, Random House Publishing Group, 21 October 2009, p. 170
- Surely there must be some way to find a husband or, for that matter, merely an escort, without sacrificing one's privacy, self-respect, and interior decorating scheme. For example, men could be imported from the developing countries, many parts of which are suffering from a man excess, at least in relation to local food supply.
- Charm, in most men and nearly all women, is a decoration.
- E. M. Forster in: The BBC Talks of E.M. Forster, 1929-1960: A Selected Edition, University of Missouri Press, 2008, p. 448
- The glorification of the "'woman's role," then, seems to be in proportion to society's reluctance to treat women as complete human beings; for the less real function that role has, the more it is decorated with meaningless details to conceal its empt.
- Betty Friedan in: David A. J. Richards Identity and the Case for Gay Rights: Race, Gender, Religion as Analogies, University of Chicago Press, 1999, p. 44
- At the very moment he cried out, David realised that what he had run into was only the Christmas tree. Disgusted with himself at such cowardice, he spat a needle from his mouth, stepped back from the tree and listened. There were no sounds of any movement upstairs: no shouts, no sleepy grumbles, only a gentle tinkle from the decorations as the tree had recovered from the collision.
G - L
- But this logic has also worked to exclude the decorative — the decorative insofar as it functions solely as decoration. It's as though aesthetic value, quality, could be preserved only by concentrating on "absolute" or "autonomous" art: thus on visual art — including even architecture — that held and moved and stirred the beholder as sheer decoration could not. Decoration is asked to be "merely" pleasing, "merely" embellishing, and the "functional" logic of Modernism leaves no room, apparently, for such "mereness." This is part of the pity of Modernism, one of the sacrifices it enjoins...
- Clement Greenberg, Robert C. Morgan in: Clement Greenberg, Late Writings in Detached Observations, University of Minnesota Press, 30 January 2007, p. 70
- The Roman did not perceive beauty in every-day matters, or indeed care to do so. Beauty was unimportant to him. Life in his eyes was a very serious and a very arduous business, and he had no time for what he would have thought of as a mere decoration of it...There were imperative tasks to summon men for all that was in them.
- Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.
- Bring from the east, bring from the west,
Flowers for the hair, gems for the vest ;
Bring the rich silks that are shining with gold,
Wrought in rich broidery on every fold,
Bring ye the perfumes that breathe on the rose,
Such as the summer of Egypt bestows ;
Bring the white pearls from the depths of the sea —
They are fair like the neck where their lustre will be.
Such are the offerings that now will be brought,
But can they bring peace to the turmoil of thought ?
Can they one moment of quiet bestow
To the human heart, feverish and beating, below ?
M - R
- Decorate! your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is. Or the theater stage designer's maxim: "If you can't hide it, decorate it."
- Mathew (9:10-17) in: Daysprings: Meditations for the Weekdays of Advent, Lent and Easter, Cowley Publications, 25 May 2000, p. 73
- There were many wooden chairs for the bulk of his visitors, and two wicker armchairs with red cloth cushions for superior people. From the packing-cases had emerged some Indian clubs,… and all these articles... made a scattered and untidy decoration that Mrs. Clough assiduously dusted and greatly cherished.
- People would be amazed at the behind-the-scenes activity in hero-making; quarrels over which cases are most deserving; seeing that all ranks and units are properly represented; dressing up weak cases to make them appear stronger; last minute switches from one class of decoration to another. … The number of decorations is determined, not by the number of deserving cases, but by the number and types of medals the admiral totes along.
- Herbert Merillat in "Guadalcanal Remembered" (1982) quoted in: Adam Bernstein Herbert Christian Merillat, author of books on Guadalcanal, dies at 94, The Washington Post, 30 April 2010
- A great bridge is a great monument which should serve to make known the splendour and genius of a nation; one should not occupy oneself with efforts to perfect it architecturally, for taste is always susceptible to change, but to conserve always in its form and decoration the character of solidity which is proper.
- I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
- If until now (i.e. 1910-12) colour and form were used as inner agents, it was mainly done subconsciously. The subordination of composition to geometrical form is no new idea (cf. the art of the Persians). Construction on a purely spiritual basis is a slow business, and at first seemingly blind and unmethodical. The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul, so that it can weigh colours in its own scale and thus become a determinant in artistic creation. If we begin at once to break the bonds that bind us to nature and to devote ourselves purely to combination of pure colour and independent form, we shall produce works that are mere geometric decoration, resembling something like a necktie or a carpet. Beauty of form and colour is no sufficient aim by itself, despite the assertions of pure aesthetes or even of naturalists obsessed with the idea of "beauty". It is because our painting is still at an elementary stage that we are so little able to be moved by wholly autonomous colour and form composition. The nerve vibrations are there (as we feel when confronted by applied art), but they get no farther than the nerves because the corresponding vibrations of the spirit which they call forth are weak.
- Herbert Read in: Herbert Read, A Concise History of Modern Painting, walterlogeman.com
- An approach in which the external physical elements of expression are merely pleasingly arranged. This way results in decoration with no spiritual reaction. Arrangement is not art.
- Clifford Ross in: Abstract expressionism: creators and critics : an anthology, Abrams, 1990, p. 84
S - Z
- You may have a throne at the royal court, with beautiful decorations and soft carpets, all sorts of luscious fruits and beautiful gardens, the excitement of the chase and princely pleasures - but still, the mind is not made happy by such illusory diversions.
- So I was always in touch with things of stone and with this kind of pure structural architecture — without frills or unnecessary decoration. All of this became an integral part of my thinking at a very early stage.
- A great novel is concerned primarily with the interior lives of its characters as they respond to the inconvenient narratives that fate imposes on them. Movie adaptations of these monumental fictions often fail because they become mere exercises in interior decoration.
- Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.
- Charles M. Schulz in: Live Organic: Brilliant ideas to purify your lifestyle and feel good about it, Infinite Ideas, 19 March 2008, p. 130
- The Church knew what the psalmist knew: Music praises God. Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church and all its decoration; it is the Church's greatest ornament.
- She well knew the great architectural secret of decorating her constructions, and never condescended to construct a decoration.
- Modesty is the decoration of poverty, thanks-giving is the decoration of affluence and wealth. Patience and endurance are the ornaments and decorations of calamities and distress. Humility is the decoration of lineage, and eloquence is the decoration of speech. Committing to memory is the decoration of tradition (hadīth), and bowing the shoulders is the decoration of knowledge. Decency and good morale is the decoration of the mind, and a smiling face is the decoration of Munificence and generosity. Not boasting of doing favours is the decoration of good deeds, and humility is the decoration of service. Spending less is the decoration of contentment, and abandoning the meaningless and unnecessary things is the decoration of abstention and fear of God.
- al-Shahid al-Tustari in Ahqaq Ul Haq Vol 12, p. 434 quoted in: Imam mohammad Taqi(a.s) (40 Hadith), wordpress.com
- The tattooing in these portraits [in Dr Hocken's collection] ought to suggest the savage, of course, but it does not. The designs are so flowing and graceful and beautiful that they are a most satisfactory decoration. It takes but fifteen minutes to get reconciled to the tattooing and but fifteen more to perceive that it is just the thing. After that, the undecorated European face is unpleasant and ignorable.
- The tradition of painting and decorating oxcarts started in the early twentieth century. Originally, each region of Costa Rica had its own particular design, enabling the identification of the driver’s origin by the painted patterns on the wheels.
- Luxury and richness of decoration, and the general striking appearance of a facade, seem to be the only source of pleasure to generosity of persons...Public and private utility, the welfare and comfort of individuals, are the ends of the Art to which all other points must be … that decoration should begin.
- John Aston Warder in: The Horticultural Review and Botanical Magazine ..., Volume 4, Morgan & Overend, printers, 1854, p. 166
- I enjoy decoration. By accumulating this mass of detail you throw light on things in a longer sense: in the long run it all adds up. It creates a texture — how shall I put it — a background, a period, which makes everything you write that much more convincing. Of course, all artists are terrible egoists. Unconsciously you are largely writing about yourself. I could never write anything factual; I only have confidence in myself when I am another character. All the characters in my books are myself, but they are a kind of disguise.
- Usually in theater, the visual repeats the verbal. The visual dwindles into decoration. But I think with my eyes. For me, the visual is not an afterthought, not an illustration of the text. If it says the same thing as the words, why look? The visual must be so compelling that a deaf man would sit though the performance fascinated.
- Robert Wilson in: Arthur C. Holmberg]] The Merlin of the Avant-Garde : Expatriate Robert Wilson, America's Weirdest Theater Director, Is Trying to Come Home—Again, Los Angeles Times, 8 August 1993
- Pictures deface walls more often than they decorate them.
- William Wordsworth quoted in: William Sanders, ActionScript 3.0 Design Patterns: Object Oriented Programming Techniques, O'Reilly Media, Inc.", 16 July 2007, p. 129