Everything useful is ugly  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Everything useful is ugly is a dictum by French writer Théophile Gautier, first recorded in Gautier's preface to the novel Mademoiselle de Maupin:

"Nothing is truly beautiful except that which can serve for nothing; whatever is useful is ugly."
"Il n'y a de vraiment beau que ce qui ne peut servir à rien ; tout ce qui est utile est laid, car c'est l'expression de quelque besoin, et ceux de l'homme sont ignobles et dégoûtants, comme sa pauvre et infirme nature."
--preface to the 1835 edition of Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835) by Théophile Gautier

But even before this preface, in another preface, this time to his collection of poetry Poésies Gautier had said: "En général, dès qu’une chose devient utile, elle cesse d’être belle" (in general, whenever something becomes useful, it ceases to be beautiful).

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