l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux

This tattoo belongs to Maria Carlos.

Literary Tattoos: Le Petit Prince Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

English translation: “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

- Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


  1. Maria says

    Thank you. I've seen it translated a few different ways. Whenever I'm asked about it, I tell people it's, "….one sees well only with the heart. the essential is invisible to the eyes," but I'm not even sure if that's right, ha.

  2. says

    Yeah, I speak French and that's how I would translate it. The beauty of the French language conveys the sense of this quote better.

  3. says

    Not sure how I never caught this in my childhood readings of The Little Prince, but this quotation essentially paraphrases Shakespeare: "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind…".

    Which, coincidentally enough, is what my girlfriend has tattooed on her hip. Probably should get her to post.

  4. says


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  5. laura says

    I have this tattooed on my left arm! I’m not sure if I’m excited or bummed to discover another, but I guess great minds think alike, as they say.

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