— Robert Browning English poet and playwright of the Victorian Era 1812 - 1889
Context: I do what many dream of, all their lives,
— Dream? strive to do, and agonize to do,
And fail in doing. I could count twenty such
On twice your fingers, and not leave this town,
Who strive — you don't know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat —
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) — so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged.
There burns a truer light of God in them,
In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped-up brain,
Heart, or whate'er else, than goes on to prompt
This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's hand of mine.
"Andrea del Sarto", line 70
"Less is more" is often misattributed to architects Buckminster Fuller or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It is something of a motto for minimalist philosophy. It was used in 1774 by Christoph Martin Wieland.