Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

68 Inspiring Quotes by Michelangelo

  • Last updated Jul 26 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Michelangelo.

Wikipedia Summary for Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (Italian: [mikeˈlandʒelo di lodoˈviːko ˌbwɔnarˈrɔːti siˈmoːni]; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (English: ), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. His artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and elder contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci. Several scholars have described Michelangelo as the greatest artist of his age and even as the greatest artist of all time.

A number of Michelangelo's works of painting, sculpture and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in these fields was prodigious; given the sheer volume of surviving correspondence, sketches and reminiscences, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. He sculpted two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, before the age of thirty. Despite holding a low opinion of painting, he also created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and The Last Judgment on its altar wall. His design of the Laurentian Library pioneered Mannerist architecture. At the age of 74, he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter's Basilica. He transformed the plan so that the western end was finished to his design, as was the dome, with some modification, after his death.

Michelangelo was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive. In fact, two biographies were published during his lifetime. One of them, by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that Michelangelo's work transcended that of any artist living or dead, and was "supreme in not one art alone but in all three".

In his lifetime, Michelangelo was often called Il Divino ("the divine one"). His contemporaries often admired his terribilità—his ability to instil a sense of awe. Attempts by subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned, highly personal style resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.

boy standing on grass and facing fence during daytime

I created a vision of David in my mind and simply carved away everything that was not David.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

red yellow and blue paint

I feast on wine and bread, and feasts they are.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

pug lying on pet bed

Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


white stars in the sky during night time

The problem human beings face is not that we aim too high and fail, but that we aim too low and succeed.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

None

The great tragedy of life is not that people set their sights too high and fail to achieve their goals but that they set their sights too low and do.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

pink and white abstract painting

Love lent me wings; my path was like a stair;
A lamp unto my feet, that sun was given;
And death was safety and great joy to find;
But dying now, I shall not climb to Heaven.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

houses and trees during nighttime

The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

person wearing black leather shoe

I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

man in orange jacket and black pants doing snow ski during daytime

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

person in black shoes standing on gray concrete floor

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

None

The goods of Fortune, even such as they really are, still need taste to enjoy them. It is the enjoying no the possessing, that makes us happy.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


sunset

Souls will never ascend to Heaven until the sight of beauty lifts them there.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

sliced lemon on pink surface

The more the marbles wastes, the more the statue grows.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

shallow focus photography of adult fawn pug

Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

band performing on stage in front of people

A good artist ought never to allow impatience to overcome his sense of the main end of art -- perfection.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

tree frog

Love is a beautiful image Imagined or seen within the heart, The friend of virtue and gentility.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

green leafed tree on snowfield under white cloudy sky at daytime

Gazing on beautiful things acts on my soul.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

person walking on street while holding black umbrella near cars on road at nighttime

I'm still learning.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

white and purple flower in macro shot

With few words I shall make thee understand my soul.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

yellow and white abstract painting

In my opinion painting should be considered excellent in proportion as it approaches the effect of relief, while relief should be considered bad in proportion as it approaches the effect of painting.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

brown and gray stick

No great work of art is ever finished.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

close-up photography of building

The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

red and black floral textile

I live in sin, to kill myself I live; no longer my life my own, but sin's; my good is given to me by heaven, my evil by myself, by my free will, of which I am deprived.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


man in white and black button up shirt holding lighted candle

A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

None

Many believe -- and I believe -- that I have been designated for this work by God. In spite of my old age, I do not want to give it up; I work out of love for God and I put all my hope in Him.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

blue parrot standing on brown tree branch

I begin to understand the promises of this world are for the most part, vain phantoms; and that to confide in one's self and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

landscape photography of mountain

Draw, Antonio; draw, Antonio; draw and don't waste time.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Arizona landscape

The power of one fair face makes my love sublime, for it has weaned my heart from low desires.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

bird's eye view photography of trees and body of water

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

A stack of thick folders on a white surface

If the wine is not good, then throw it out!

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


two children holding hands while walking in the middle of the fields

Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


Arizona landscape

If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

silhouette photo of six persons on top of mountain

A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

photography of white sky at golden hour

Your gifts lie in the place where your values, passions and strengths meet. Discovering that place is the first step toward sculpting your masterpiece, Your Life.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


None

The best of artists has no conception that the marble alone does not contain within itself.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


white wall paint beside white wall

The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

elephants on green grass field during daytime

However rich I may have been, I have always lived like a poor man.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

horse

Do you know that women who are chaste remain much fresher than those who are not?

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

people inside temple painting

Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

snow covered mountain under blue sky

Perfection is no small thing, but it is made up of small things.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


rock formation under starry skies

Let whoever may have attained to so much as to have the power of drawing know that he holds a great treasure.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

tall trees with dried leaves on ground

I was never the kind of painter or sculptor who kept a shop.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

sunflower field during daytime

The idea is there locked inside. All you have to do is remove the excess stone.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

blue sky

Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

sunset

If I love in thee, beloved, only what thou lovest most, do not be angry; for so one spirit is enamoured of another.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


sunset

I cannot live under pressures from patrons, let alone paint.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

group of penguins standing on white snow covered ground near body of water during daytime

Serene I fold my hands and wait.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

aerial photo of foggy mountains

My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

rainbow

From such a gentle thing, from such a fountain of all delight, my every pain is born.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

2 people riding on boat during sunset

As when, O lady mine, With chiselled touch, The stone unhewn and cold, Becomes a living mould, The more the marble wastes, The more the statue grows.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

It is necessary to keep one's compass in one's eyes and not in the hand, for the hands execute, but the eye judges.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

red textile in close up photography

An artist does his most difficult work when he steps back from the blank canvas and thinks about what he is going to create.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

sunset

How wrong are those simpletons, of whom the world is full, who look more at... color than at the figures which show spirit and movement.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

woman in white shirt sitting on brown rock near lake during daytime

I criticise by creation, not by finding fault.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

red wine digital wallpaper

Already at sixteen, my mind was a battlefield: my love of pagan beauty, the male nude, at war with my religious faith. A polarity of themes and forms: one spiritual, the other earthly.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

sunset grasslands

A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni


red fire illustration

I am always learning.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

photo og calm body of water

There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.

--Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

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