I'm beginning to think this is a gross paraphrasing or a mistaken attribution.
All that I desire to point out is the general principle that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.
Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life . . . Life holds the mirror up to Art, and either reproduces some strange type imagined by a painter or sculptor, or realises in fact what has been dreamed in fiction. . . . For what is Nature? Nature is no great mother who has borne us. She is our creation. It is in our brain that she quickens to life. Things are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the Arts that have influenced us. . . . At present, people see fogs, not because there are fogs, but because poets and painters have taught them the mysterious loveliness of such effects. There may have been fogs for centuries in London. I dare say there were. But no one saw them, and so we do not know anything about them. They did not exist till Art had invented them. Now, it must be admitted, fogs are carried to excess. They have become the mere mannerism of a clique, and the exaggerated realism of their method gives dull people bronchitis. Where the cultured catch an effect, the uncultured catch cold.
~Oscar Wilde, 'The Decay of Lying: An Observation', 1889
http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/SESLL/EngLit/ ... al&Rep.htm
Paint can never be as perfect as nature when it is trying to imitate nature.
"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."
Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.
- Woody Allen