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74 Interesting Art & Life Quotes by Michaelangelo

Welcome to our curated collection of the best art and life quotes by Michaelangelo. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Michaelangelo

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, his work had a major influence on the development of Western art, particularly in relation to the Renaissance notions of humanism and naturalism. He is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and elder contemporary, Leonardo da Vinci.

Given the sheer volume of surviving correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences, Michelangelo is one of the best-documented artists of the 16th century and several scholars have described Michelangelo as the most accomplished artist of his era.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 71, 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 instill a sense of awe in viewers of his art. Attempts by subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned, highly personal style contributed to the rise of Mannerism, a short-lived style and period in Western art following the High Renaissance.

Quote: I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of shallow focus photography of hand with red paint
Photo Credit: ian dooley

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.


Quote: The idea is there, locked inside. All you have to do is remove the excess stone. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: Perfection is no small thing, but it is made up of small things. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: No great work of art is ever finished. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

No great work of art is ever finished.


Quote: Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I accomplish. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I accomplish.


Quote: There is no greater harm than that of time wasted. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of grey ceramic woman's face with red rose figurine
Photo Credit: Karen Khafagy

There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.


Quote: The greatest risk to man is not that he aims too high and misses, but that he aims too low and hits. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

The greatest risk to man is not that he aims too high and misses, but that he aims too low and hits.


Quote: Patience is eternal genius. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Patience is eternal genius.


Quote: Anyone who follows others never passes them by, and anyone who does not know how to do good works on his own cannot make good use of works by others. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Anyone who follows others never passes them by, and anyone who does not know how to do good works on his own cannot make good use of works by others.


Quote: The greatest artist does not have any concept
Which a single piece of marble does not itself contain
Within its excess, though only
A hand that obeys the intellect can discover it. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

The greatest artist does not have any concept
Which a single piece of marble does not itself contain
Within its excess, though only
A hand that obeys the intellect can discover it.


Quote: If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn't call it genius. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn't call it genius.


Quote: Critique by creating. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Critique by creating.


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: An artist does his most difficult work when he steps back from the blank canvas and thinks about what he is going to create. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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




Quote: If the wine is not good, then throw it out! by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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




Quote: However rich I may have been, I have always lived like a poor man. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: I was never the kind of painter or sculptor who kept a shop. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: If I love in thee, beloved, only what thou lovest most, do not be angry; for so one spirit is enamoured of another. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: Do you know that women who are chaste remain much fresher than those who are not? by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: I criticise by creation, not by finding fault. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

I criticise by creation, not by finding fault.


Quote: Gazing on beautiful things acts on my soul. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Gazing on beautiful things acts on my soul.


Quote: I am always learning. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

I am always learning.


Quote: I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: With few words I shall make thee understand my soul. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

With few words I shall make thee understand my soul.


Quote: Love is a beautiful image Imagined or seen within the heart, The friend of virtue and gentility. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: A good artist ought never to allow impatience to overcome his sense of the main end of art -- perfection. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: Let it be enough for you to have bread and live virtuously and poorly like Christ, as I do here. I live meanly and don't bother about life or honor ... and I live with the greatest toil and a thousand worries. It is now about 15 years since I had a happy hour. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Let it be enough for you to have bread and live virtuously and poorly like Christ, as I do here. I live meanly and don't bother about life or honor ... and I live with the greatest toil and a thousand worries. It is now about 15 years since I had a happy hour.


Quote: The power of one fair face makes my love sublime, for it has weaned my heart from low desires. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: So now, from this mad passion Which made me take art for an idol and a king I have learnt the burden of error that it bore And what misfortune springs from man's desire... The world's frivolities have robbed me of the time That I was given for reflecting upon God. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

So now, from this mad passion Which made me take art for an idol and a king I have learnt the burden of error that it bore And what misfortune springs from man's desire... The world's frivolities have robbed me of the time That I was given for reflecting upon God.


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: I cannot live under pressures from patrons, let alone paint. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: Souls will never ascend to Heaven until the sight of beauty lifts them there. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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




Quote: I created a vision of David in my mind and simply carved away everything that was not David. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking.


Quote: In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.


Quote: Faith in oneself is the best and safest course. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.


Quote: If in my youth I had realized that the sustaining splendour of beauty of with which I was in love would one day flood back into my heart, there to ignite a flame that would torture me without end, how gladly would I have put out the light in my eyes. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

If in my youth I had realized that the sustaining splendour of beauty of with which I was in love would one day flood back into my heart, there to ignite a flame that would torture me without end, how gladly would I have put out the light in my eyes.


Quote: The art of creation lies in the gift of perceiving the particular and generalizing it, thus creating the particular again. It is therefore a powerful transforming force and a generator of creative solutions in relation to a given problem. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

The art of creation lies in the gift of perceiving the particular and generalizing it, thus creating the particular again. It is therefore a powerful transforming force and a generator of creative solutions in relation to a given problem.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The art of creation lies in the gift of perceiving the particular and generalizing it, thus creating the particular again. It is therefore a powerful transforming force and a generator of creative solutions in relation to a given problem. It is the currency of human exchanges, which enables the sharing of states of the soul and conscience, and the discovery of new fields of experience.


Quote: I feast on wine and bread, and feasts they are. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: Draw, Antonio; draw, Antonio; draw and don't waste time. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.


Quote: Let whoever may have attained to so much as to have the power of drawing know that he holds a great treasure. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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




Quote: Serene I fold my hands and wait. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

Serene I fold my hands and wait.


Quote: The problem human beings face is not that we aim too high and fail, but that we aim too low and succeed. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: I'm still learning. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

I'm still learning.


Quote: If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: From such a gentle thing, from such a fountain of all delight, my every pain is born. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: The more the marbles wastes, the more the statue grows. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: The best of artists has no conception that the marble alone does not contain within itself. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: A man paints with his brains and not with his hands. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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.


Quote: Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. by author Michaelangelo overlaid on photo of photo of author Michaelangelo with quote

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


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