I think of Poussin in his retirement, delighting in the study of the human heart and the masterpieces of the ancients, little heeding Richelieu's academies and pensions; I think of Raphael in his mistress' arms, passing from the Fornarina to the St. Cecilia, composing his sublime pictures as easily as other people breathe and speak — all with simplicity and gentle inspiration. Oh, my friend, when I think of these great models, I feel only too deeply how far I am, not only from their divine spirit, but even from their modest candour.
7 August 2015
How Far I Am
Eugène Delacroix, letter to Jean-Baptiste Pierret (1818), quoted in Dorothy Bussy, Eugene Delacroix (London: Duckworth and Co., 1912), p.12: