Vase, unglazed, black, dried-body stoneware with encaustic decoration; Wedgwood & Bentley, circa 1770-1775. Imitation of a Grecian urn published from the collection of William Hamilton. DAR Museum, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, DC.

Of life's two chief prizes, beauty and truth, I found the first in a loving heart and the second in a laborer's hand.
Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese writer and artist

Beauty awakens the soul to act.
Dante Alighieri, Italian poet

Beauty, the splendour of truth, is a gracious presence when the imagination contemplates intensely the truth of its own being or the visible world, and the spirit which proceeds out of truth and beauty is the holy spirit of joy.  These are realities and these alone give and sustain life.
James Joyce, Irish writer

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics 1921

Beauty is truth's smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.
Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet, Nobel Prize in Literature 1913

To love beauty is to see light.
Victor Hugo, French writer

Suppose the apprehension of beauty is itself a way to truth? Suppose that “elegance”—as the word is used by physicists to describe their discoveries—is a key to ultimate reality?
Rollo May, The Courage to Create

Three things cannot be long hidden:  the sun, the moon, and the truth.

Thus was beauty sent from heaven -- the lovely mistress of truth and good in this dark world.
Mark Akenside, English poet and physician

Truth, Goodness, Beauty -- those celestial thrins, /Continually are born; e'en now the Universe, /With thousand throats, and eke with greener smiles, /Its joy confesses at their recent birth.
Henry David Thoreau, American writer, philosopher, transcendentalist


'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
John Keats, English poet

I appreciate the power of great writers to harness poetic metaphors to capture what is beyond words.  These lines of verse from Keats' Ode to a Grecian Urn do just that.  They describe the intimate relationship between beauty and truth.  Beauty and truth, artists teach us, are the foundational underpinnings of creativity and art.  According to Keats, truth and beauty are the foundation of life itself.