"It is not what the artist does that counts. But what he is."

In this quote, Picasso continues to say, "Cézanne would never have interested me if he had lived and thought like Jacques-Émile Blanche, even if the apple he had painted had been ten times more beautiful. What interests us is the anxiety of Cézanne, the teaching of Cézanne, the anguish of Van Gogh, in short the inner drama of the man. The rest is false."

Picasso realized that some people forget where art comes from—a living, breathing artist who has thoughts, ideas, reflections, and opinions about the contemporary moment. Whether studying art history, being a casual observer of art, or anything in between, one should not forget the biographical aspect of a work.

quote via Letters of the great artists – from Blake to Pollock by Richard Friedenthal / image via

Above: Buste de femme au chapeau (Dora) (Bust of Woman with Hat, Dora), 1939