So what makes a masterpiece? There are two things to look at.
1. A complete unity between style, subject and technique.
2. The belief that art should express an idea greater than art itself. Without such a belief, a commitment to communicate that idea to others, all art, however accomplished technically, is confined to decoration and illustration. Technical skill can fill and decorate spaces, but only an idea connects at a deeper level with the needs of others and can change the way we see things.
To stand out from the crowd requires courage and individuality. Only those endowed with a depth of vision beyond the ordinary, and who use art, not as an end itself or as a means of personal or commercial gratification, but as a means of trying to tell a greater human or spiritual truth, are those who will succeed in creating masterpieces that can survive the sternest crtic of all - time.
- Eyewitness Companions, Art