Quotation by Benjamin Constant

Art for art's sake, with no purpose, for any purpose perverts art. But art achieves a purpose which is not its own.
Benjamin Constant (1767–1834), French politician, philosopher, author. Journal Intime, journal entry, Feb. 11, 1804, Revue Internationale (Jan. 10, 1887).

"Art for art's sake" became an oft-repeated slogan. The French philosopher Victor Cousin (1792-1867) said in a lecture at the Sorbonne in 1818, "We must have religion for religion's sake, morality for morality's sake, as with art for art's sake ... the beautiful cannot be the way to what is useful, or to what is good, or to what is holy; it leads only to itself" (Du vrai, du beau, et du bien, pt. 2, 1853). Ars gratia artis was adopted in the 1930s as the motto of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, credited to songwriter/publicist Howard Dietz.
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