146+ Best Francis Bacon Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, PC QC was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. Powerful collection of profoundly inspirational Francis Bacon quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for quotes from greatest philosophers that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from Heraclitus, powerful John Stuart Mill quotes and famous John Locke quotes.

Famous Francis Bacon Quotes

In one and the same fire, clay grows hard and wax melts. – Francis Bacon

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying. – Francis Bacon

Let no one think or maintain that a person can search too far or be too well studied in either the book of God’s word or the book of God’s works. – Francis Bacon

When a bee stings, she dies. She cannot sting and live. When men sting, their better selves die. Every sting kills a better instinct. Men must not turn bees and kill themselves in stinging others. – Francis Bacon

Friendship increases in visiting friends, but in visiting them seldom. – Francis Bacon

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom. – Francis Bacon

Jesus would have been one of the best photographers that ever existed. He was always looking at the beauty of people souls. In fact, Jesus was constantly making pictures of God in people’s life by looking at their souls and exposing them to his light. – Francis Bacon

Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. – Francis Bacon

A bad man is worse when he pretends to be a saint. – Francis Bacon

All artists are vain, they long to be recognized and to leave something to posterity. They want to be loved, and at the same time they want to be free. But nobody is free. – Francis Bacon

A principal fruit of friendship, is the ease and discharge of the fullness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce. – Francis Bacon

Painting is the pattern of one’s own nervous system being projected on canvas. – Francis Bacon

Praise from the common people is generally false, and rather follows the vain than the virtuous. – Francis Bacon

A little science estranges a man from God; a lot of science brings him back. – Francis Bacon

If vices were profitable, the virtuous man would be the sinner. – Francis Bacon

For no man can forbid the spark nor tell whence it may come. – Francis Bacon

Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses. – Francis Bacon

Very few people have a natural feeling for painting, and so, of course, they naturally think that painting is an expression of the artist’s mood. But it rarely is. Very often he may be in greatest despair and be painting his happiest paintings. – Francis Bacon

An artist must learn to be nourished by his passions and by his despairs. – Francis Bacon

But I account the use that a man should seek of the publishing of his own writings before his death, to be but an untimely anticipation of that which is proper to follow a man, and not to go along with him. – Francis Bacon

Knowledge is a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate. – Francis Bacon

There is a difference between happiness and wisdom: he that thinks himself the happiest man is really so; but he that thinks himself the wisest is generally the greatest fool. – Francis Bacon

The zeal which begins with hypocrisy must conclude in treachery at first it deceives, at last it betrays – Francis Bacon

We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps. – Francis Bacon

If I go to the National Gallery and I look at one of the great paintings that excite me there, it’s not so much the painting that excites me as that the painting unlocks all kinds of valves of sensation within me which return me to life more violently. – Francis Bacon

It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity. – Francis Bacon

Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set. – Francis Bacon

Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise. – Francis Bacon

The light that a man receives by counsel from another is drier and purer than that which comes from his own understanding and judgment, which is ever infused and drenched in his affections and customs. – Francis Bacon

The pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. – Francis Bacon

I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken all knowledge to be my province. – Francis Bacon

Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion. – Francis Bacon

Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning and almost childish; then his youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile; then his strength of years, when it is solid and reduced; and lastly his old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust. – Francis Bacon

Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true. – Francis Bacon

He that cannot possibly mend his own case will do what he can to impair another’s. – Francis Bacon

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. – Francis Bacon

If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him. – Francis Bacon

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake. – Francis Bacon

Wonder is the seed of knowledge – Francis Bacon

First the amendment of their own minds. For the removal of the impediments of the mind will sooner clear the passages of fortune than the obtaining fortune will remove the impediments of the mind. – Francis Bacon

For the chain of causes cannot by any force be loosed or broken, nor can nature be commanded except by being obeyed. – Francis Bacon

By far the best proof is experience. – Francis Bacon

A graceful and pleasing figure is a perpetual letter of recommendation. – Francis Bacon

The monuments of wit survive the monuments of power. – Francis Bacon

Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend. – Francis Bacon

Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many comforts and hopes. – Francis Bacon

The cord breaketh at last by the weakest pull. – Francis Bacon

If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us. – Francis Bacon

It is in life as it is in ways, the shortest way is commonly the foulest, and surely the fairer way is not much about. – Francis Bacon

The fortune which nobody sees makes a person happy and unenvied. – Francis Bacon

Truth can never be reached by just listening to the voice of an authority. – Francis Bacon

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom. – Francis Bacon

The rising unto place is laborious, and by pains men come to greater pains; and it is sometimes base, and by indignities men come to dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress is either a downfall, or at least an eclipse. – Francis Bacon

I have to hope that my instincts will do the right thing, because I can’t erase what I have done. And if I drew something first, then my paintings would be illustrations of drawings. – Francis Bacon

If we are to achieve things never before accomplished, we must employ methods never before attempted – Francis Bacon

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly. – Francis Bacon

Therefore, if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible. – Francis Bacon

Innovations, which are the births of time. – Francis Bacon

It’s not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity. – Francis Bacon

Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper. – Francis Bacon

Science is but an image of the truth. – Francis Bacon

Children sweeten labors, but they make misfortunes more bitter. – Francis Bacon

One of the fathers saith . . . that old men go to death, and death comes to young men. – Francis Bacon

Truth is a good dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out. – Francis Bacon

Always let losers have their words. – Francis Bacon

You could say that I have no inspiration, that I only need to paint. – Francis Bacon

The worst solitude is to have no real friendships. – Francis Bacon

It’s always hopeless to talk about painting – one never does anything but talk around it. – Francis Bacon

There was a young man in Rome that was very like Augustus Caesar; Augustus took knowledge of it and sent for the man, and asked him Was your mother never at Rome? He answered No Sir; but my father was. – Francis Bacon

If a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics. – Francis Bacon

In all negotiations of difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees. – Francis Bacon

It was prettily devised of Aesop, the fly sat on the axle tree of the chariot wheel and said, what dust do I raise! – Francis Bacon

Rather to excite your judgment briefly than to inform it tediously. – Francis Bacon

A cat will never drown if she sees the shore. – Francis Bacon

I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am. – Francis Bacon

No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth. – Francis Bacon

Love and envy make a man pine, which other affections do not, because they are not so continual. – Francis Bacon

I hold every man a debtor to his profession. – Francis Bacon

Spouses are great impediments to great enterprises. – Francis Bacon

Chiefly the mold of a man’s fortune is in his own hands. – Francis Bacon

God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave. – Francis Bacon

A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. – Francis Bacon

When a man laughs at his troubles, he loses a great many friends. They never forgive the loss of their prerogative. – Francis Bacon

God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. – Francis Bacon

By this means we presume we have established forever, a true and legitimate marriage between the Empirical and Rational faculty; whose fastidious and unfortunate divorce and separation hath troubled and disordered the whole race and generation of mankind. – Francis Bacon

We must see whether the same clock with weights will go faster at the top of a mountain or at the bottom of a mine; it is probable, if the pull of the weights decreases on the mountain and increases in the mine, that the earth has real attraction. – Francis Bacon

Suspicion amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they never fly by twilight. – Francis Bacon

I don’t think people are born artists; I think it comes from a mixture of your surroundings, the people you meet, and luck. – Francis Bacon

The universe must not be narrowed down to the limit of our understanding, but our understanding must be stretched and enlarged to take in the image of the universe as it is discovered. – Francis Bacon

Again, there is another great and powerful cause why the sciences have made but little progress; which is this. It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed. – Francis Bacon

The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding. – Francis Bacon

Money is a great servant but a bad master. – Francis Bacon

Good fame is like fire; when you have kindled you may easily preserve it; but if you extinguish it, you will not easily kindle it again. – Francis Bacon

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties. – Francis Bacon

Dreams, and predictions of astrology…. ought to serve but for winter talk by the fireside. – Francis Bacon

The lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes the wrong one. – Francis Bacon

A forbidden writing is thought to be a certain spark of truth, that flies up in the face of them who seek to tread it out. – Francis Bacon

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator. – Francis Bacon

Great art is always a way of concentrating, reinventing what is called fact, what we know of our existence- a reconcentration… tearing away the veils, the attitudes people acquire of their time and earlier time. Really good artists tear down those veils – Francis Bacon

It is the wisdom of the crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour. – Francis Bacon

The less people speak of their greatness, the more we think of it. – Francis Bacon

Ill Fortune never crushed that man whom good fortune deceived not. – Francis Bacon

Do not wonder if the common people speak more truly than those above them: they speak more safely. – Francis Bacon

The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search for truth. So it does more harm than good. – Francis Bacon

The human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it. – Francis Bacon

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. – Francis Bacon

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall but in charity there is no excess; neither can angel nor man come in danger by it. – Francis Bacon

Wise sayings are not only for ornament, but for action and business, having a point or edge, whereby knots in business are pierced and discovered. – Francis Bacon

Let every student of nature take this as his rule, that whatever the mind seizes upon with particular satisfaction is to be held in suspicion. – Francis Bacon

Generally, he perceived in men of devout simplicity this opinion: that the secrets of nature were the secrets of God, part of that glory into which man is not to press too boldly. – Francis Bacon

Men suppose their reason has command over their words; still it happens that words in return exercise authority on reason – Francis Bacon

My praise shall be dedicated to the mind itself. The mind is the man, and the knowledge is the mind. A man is but what he knoweth. The mind is but an accident to knowledge, for knowledge is the double of that which is. – Francis Bacon

Nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn. – Francis Bacon

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. – Francis Bacon

The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other. – Francis Bacon

Base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in the dark. – Francis Bacon

That things are changed, and that nothing really perishes, and that the sum of matter remains exactly the same, is sufficiently certain. – Francis Bacon

The best armor is to keep out of gunshot. – Francis Bacon

It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tost upon the sea: a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth . . . and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below. – Francis Bacon

There is no great concurrence between learning and wisdom. – Francis Bacon

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted… but to weigh and consider. – Francis Bacon

States are great engines moving slowly. – Francis Bacon

Next to religion, let your care be to promote justice. – Francis Bacon

The ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. – Francis Bacon

All colors will agree in the dark. – Francis Bacon

He that cometh to seek after knowledge, with a mind to scorn, shall be sure to find matter for his humor, but no matter for his instruction. – Francis Bacon

The wonder of a single snowflake outweighs the wisdom of a million meteorologists. – Francis Bacon

We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do. – Francis Bacon

Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite. – Francis Bacon

Great changes are easier than small ones. – Francis Bacon

To know truly is to know by causes. – Francis Bacon

Nothing is to be feared but fear itself. Nothing grievous but to yield to grief. – Francis Bacon

In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior. – Francis Bacon

My painting is not violent, it’s life that is violent. Even within the most beautiful landscape, in the trees, under the leaves, the insects are eating each other; violence is a part of life. We are born with a scream; we come into life with a scream and maybe love is a mosquito net between the fear of living and the fear of death. – Francis Bacon

Speech of yourself ought to be seldom and well chosen. – Francis Bacon

I always think of myself not so much as a painter but as a medium for accident and chance. – Francis Bacon

A king that would not feel his crown too heavy for him, must wear it every day; but if he thinks it too light, he knoweth not of what metal it is made. – Francis Bacon

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. – Francis Bacon

It is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the hurt. – Francis Bacon

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased by tales, so is the other. – Francis Bacon

I would like, in my arbitrary way, to bring one nearer to the actual human being. – Francis Bacon

Never any knowledge was delivered in the same order it was invented. – Francis Bacon

The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grieves and fears. – Francis Bacon

Half of science is putting forth the right questions. – Francis Bacon

Why should I be angry with a man for loving himself better than me? – Francis Bacon

He was reputed one of the wise men that made answer to the question when a man should marry? ‘A young man not yet, an elder man not at all.’ – Francis Bacon

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