Who said it first?

Granville Island, Vancouver
Granville Island, Vancouver

“Focus on what makes you happy, and do what gives meaning to your life” 
― Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

“Less is more” seems to have its genesis in the 1855 poem attributed to Robert Browning – Andrea Del Sarto.  Andrea del Sarto was a Florentine painter who lived in the time of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.  Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886 – 1969), one of the founders of modern architecture, embraced this idea in his artistic endeavours, which has come to signify that simplicity and clarity lead to good design.

While “less is more” is really a paradox, we accept it as an absolute truth. The definition of “less” is clearly the opposite of “more.”  And yet, we recognize its validity in our experience. Perhaps we can argue that frugality = “less is more.”

18 Comments

  1. Gallivanta says:

    Another of your great equations. I will not argue with it.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      Math seems to be an integral part of our lives!!! It is hard to argue with 2+2=4!! 🙂

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  2. Ms Frances says:

    Wise words, indeed! I find it interesting that so many famous people lived at the same time. I’m just reading “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”. He lived during this time as well.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      How interesting. It seems that the 1800’s produced some interesting thinkers. May it be said to be the same for our time!!

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  3. “Less is More” is always a meaningful idea, I first encountered this concept was from a interior design book with that title, as it explained how to make best use of space say in smaller apartment or house …. I enjoyed that book very much, it tells a lot!

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    1. Clanmother says:

      Sounds like a great book! Living spaces are becoming smaller, even in Canada, which is know for having a huge land mass. I was thinking of you when I came across a quote by Frederic Chopin: “Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”

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      1. Yes, maturity and simplicity should be a pair, I am heading for that direction! Thanks for thinking of me, Chopin obviously possessed musical and life wisdom …..

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      2. Clanmother says:

        Well said!!! I am glad that we are heading in the same direction – we are going to have many adventures along the way…

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  4. indiferent says:

    Indeed.
    I agree with everything you wrote.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      Your visits always make me smile!!! Thank you for you comments.

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  5. This is so clever, isn’t it – and it works so beautifully both ways round.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      It is very clever – and it applies to pretty well everything. Consider other iterations like: “the less said, the better”

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  6. mixedupmeme says:

    This post made me want to go clean out my closets. 🙂
    Less is more. More for the trash man to cart off.

    ( How many of your other followers just write the first thing that pops into their minds? )

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    1. Clanmother says:

      I love when you stop by and write the first thing that comes to mind. Usually, they are the words that are most honest and authentic. 🙂

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  7. Oh this reminds me of springtime and the cherry blossoms blooming along the basin in DC. Beautiful photo Rebecca.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      Today, I felt that spring was coming. In a few more weeks, we should see the crocuses. Thank you so much for stopping by – your comments are very much appreciated.

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  8. Beautiful flower!!! Wonderful shot and post!!!

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    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for your heart warming comments!!!

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