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 thoughts on “Who said it first?

  1. 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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  2. “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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    • 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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  3. 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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