Literally, "Art is long, life is short."
This saying is a Latin
translation of an aphorism
by the Greek
. The "art" Hippocrates was referring to was medicine
, so originally the saying had the meaning "The Art(of medicine) takes long to learn, the life (of the patient and the doctor) is short."
translated this saying into English in his work The Parliament of Fowles
That lyf so short, that craft so long to lerne
Th'assay so hard, so sharpe the conquerynge.
The first line of Chaucer's translation later became the motto
of the magazine The Craftsman
, published around the turn of the 20th century by Gustav Stickley
. Since then, it has become a popular saying among followers of the American Arts and Crafts
movement. It can be found engraved
into various pieces of furniture (chairs, tables, etc.), on posters, cross stitches