1 Corinthians 15:33
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Sir Thomas Lawrence, the eminent painter and president of the Royal Academy, commended the pictures of a young artist, and then said to him: "You have round your room two or three rough, clever, but coarse Flemish sketches. If I were you I would not allow my eye to become familiarised with any but the highest forms of art. If you cannot afford to buy good oil-paintings, buy good engravings of great pictures, or have nothing at all upon your walls. You allow, in intercourse with your fellows, that 'Evil communications corrupt good manners.' So is it with pictures. If you allow your eye to become familiar with what is vulgar in conception, however free and dashing the handling, and however excellent the feeling for colour, your taste will insensibly become depraved. Whereas, if you habituate your eye to look only on what is pure and grand, or refined and lovely, your taste will insensibly become elevated." Sir Thomas's advice, which is as applicable to books as to pictures, was enforced by an anecdote. The artist of reputation, who had never seen any of the works of the greatest painters, went with Sir Thomas to see one of the best collections on the Continent. It was arranged according to the different schools — beginning with the German, proceeding to the Flemish, Dutch, Spanish, Bolognese, the Venetian, and ending with the Umbrian. The artist was so fascinated with the vigour, the colour, the invention, and the drawing of Rubens's pictures that Sir Thomas had difficulty in dragging him away from them. After visiting the several schools they came to the Italian collection, with its Guidos, Titians, and Raphaels, before which they lingered until the hour for closing the gallery. The contemplation of these beautiful, chastened works of the Italian masters so educated the visitor's taste that, on repassing the Rubens pictures, which a few hours before had delighted him, he shuddered at their grossness.
Parallel VersesKJV: Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.