The Renaissance was a romantic era where the legendary Michaelangelo – sculptor, architect, painter, and poet – had first left the world in awe with his extraordinary works of art as well as his famous words of inspiration listed in this collection of Michaelangelo quotes.
Who was Michaelangelo?
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was an artist born in Florence, Italy in 1475 who rose to prominence during the Renaissance era for his extraordinary art. He painted the world-renowned ceiling of the Sistine Chapel from 1508 to 1512. Before that, he created two of his famous sculptures, David and the Pieta, when he was only in his 20’s.
If you didn’t know Michaelangelo was a poet, check out his powerful, motivational, and inspiring quotes below.
And don’t forget to also read these art quotes celebrating the power and beauty of creation.
Michaelangelo quotes that will inspire you to strive to be your best
1. “Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop.” – Michelangelo
2. “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” – Michelangelo
3. “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” – Michelangelo
4. “My life has been a gift up to this point, and I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest imagination. And wherever this ride takes me is where I’m going.” – Michelangelo
5. “A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.” – Michelangelo
6. “The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Michelangelo
7. “There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” – Michelangelo
8. “From such a gentle thing, from such a fountain of all delight, my every pain is born.” – Michelangelo
9. “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” – Michaelangelo
10. “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
Michaelangelo quotes about beauty and creation
11. “Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.” – Michelangelo
12. “Critique by creating.” – Michelangelo
13. “Do not fret, for God did not create us to abandon us.” – Michelangelo
14. “Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.” – Michaelangelo
15. “Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all come.” – Michaelangelo
16. “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michaelangelo
17. “Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.” – Michaelangelo
18. “For those who feel it, nothing makes the soul so religious and pure as the endeavor to create something perfect. For God is perfection, and whoever strives after it, is striving after something divine.” – Michaelangelo
19. “My good is given to me by heaven, my evil by myself, by my free will, of which I am deprived.” – Michelangelo
20. “Gazing on beautiful things acts on my soul.” – Michelangelo
Powerful Michaelangelo quotes
21. “Genius is eternal patience.” – Michaelangelo
22. “The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.” – Michaelangelo
23. “I am a poor man and of little worth, who is laboring in that art that God has given me in order to extend my life as long as possible.” – Michaelangelo
24. “I created a vision of David in my mind and simply carved away everything that was not David.” – Michelangelo
25. “I live and love in God’s peculiar light.” – Michaelangelo
26. “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michaelangelo
27. “If in my youth I had realized that the sustaining splendor 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.” – Michaelangelo
28. “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” – Michaelangelo
29. “If we have been pleased with life, we should not be displeased with death, since it comes from the hand of the same master.” – Michelangelo
30. “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.” – Michelangelo
Michaelangelo quotes to inspire and teach
31. “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.” – Michaelangelo
32. “It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand.” – Michaelangelo
33. “Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” – Michaelangelo
34. “Lord, make me see thy glory in every place.” – Michelangelo
35. “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.” – Michaelangelo
36. “My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.” – Michaelangelo
37. “No great work of art is ever finished.” – Michelangelo
38. “Only God creates. The rest of us just copy.” – Michelangelo
39. “The best of artists has no conception that the marble alone does not contain within itself.” – Michaelangelo
40. “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.” – Michaelangelo
More Michaelangelo quotes and sayings
41. “The idea is there locked inside. All you have to do is remove the excess stone.” – Michelangelo
42. “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.” – Michaelangelo
43. “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.” – Michaelangelo
44. “There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.” – Michaelangelo
45. “To know each other is the best way to understand each other. To understand each other is the only way to love each other.” – Michelangelo
46. “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.” – Michaelangelo
47. “True painting is only the image of the perfection of God, a shadow of the pencil with which he paints, a melody, a striving after harmony.” – Michelangelo
48. “What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is nobler than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?” – Michelangelo
49. “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
50. “Your greatness is measured by your horizons.” – Michelangelo
Did you enjoy these Michelangelo quotes?
These Michaelangelo quotes teach us the values of hard work, resilience, and being passionate about everything we strive to accomplish.
Michaelangelo’s passion to craft that which gave him joy and fulfillment combined with his belief in making the best of what God has given him have gifted us with the most beautiful creations only a few artists can produce.
But even if you’re not an artist, an art enthusiast, or an admirer of Michaelangelo’s work, these Michaelangelo quotes should inspire you to strive to be your best in any undertaking.
Just imagine if the famed artist who admittedly worked hard to achieve what he did had not pushed himself to complete his remarkable work. We would not have known and experienced the most beautiful paintings and sculptures that continue to mesmerize generations all over the world.
Which of these Michaelangelo quotes and sayings resonated with you best? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.