Hippolyte Taine

French critic and historian
Hippolyte Taine

Hippolyte Adolphe Taine (21 April 18285 March 1893) was a French critic and historian.


  • [Concerning the love La Fontaine felt for animals] He follows their emotions, he represents their reasonings, he becomes tender, he becomes gay, he participates in their feelings. The factis, he lived in them. […] The animals contain all the materials of man-sensations, judgments, images.
    • La Fontaine et ses Fables (1853–1861), Hachette, 1911, p. 166 and 107; as quoted in Matthieu Ricard, A Plea for the Animals, trans. Sherab Chödzin Kohn, Shambhala Publications, 2016, p. 102.
  • The production of a work of art is determined by the material and intellectual climate in which a man lives and dies.
    • Philosophy of Art (1865)
  • Napoleon, far more Italian than French, Italian by race, by instinct, imagination, and souvenir, considers in his plan the future of Italy, and, on casting up the final accounts of his reign, we find that the net profit is for Italy and the net loss is for France.

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