Life is Short, Art is Long

Vita brevis, ars longa.

                                                                                         — Hippocrates

I’ve always feared being average; but if I am, I have 16 years’ life expectancy, according to the CDC.

Not a cheery thought.

A stalwart pragmatist, Hippocrates opened his medical textbook Aphorisms by noting that time limits what a doctor can accomplish: Life is short, art is long.

Stalwart romantics, artists for 2,500 years have flipped the phrase, insisting, “Art outlives the artist.”

Both meanings are true.

Like medicine, it takes a long time to master oil painting; longer than some of us have.

Time’s the enemy.

And you hope, after you’re gone, your paintings still linger to grace people’s walls.

For a while, anyway.

NOTE: Be sure to click on the embedded links above. They provide sources and enrich my post.