50 Michaelangelo Quotes to Rekindle Your Love for Art and Poetry

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.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Check out our inspirational quotes category page for more inspirational life quotes.

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

Michaelangelo quotes about you just go down to the skin and stop

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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

Michaelangelo quotes that will inspire you to strive to be your best

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

Michaelangelo quotes about music is a moral law

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

Michaelangelo quotes about my life has been a gift up to this point

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

Michaelangelo quotes about a beautiful thing never gives so much pain

6. “The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” Michelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about the level of our success is limited only by our imagination

7. “There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” Michelangelo

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Michaelangelo quotes about there are no limits of human intelligence

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

Michaelangelo quotes from such a fountain of all delight, my every pain is born

9. “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” Michaelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about a man paints with his brains and not with his hands

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

Michaelangelo quotes about beauty and creation

11. “Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.” Michelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about beauty is the purgation of superfluities

12. “Critique by creating.” Michelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about Critique by creating

13. “Do not fret, for God did not create us to abandon us.” Michelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about do not fret, for God did not create us to abandon us

14. “Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.” Michaelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven

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

Michaelangelo quotes about beauty

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

Michaelangelo quotes about every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it

17. “Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.” Michaelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about faith in oneself is the best and safest course

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

Michaelangelo quotes to create something perfect

19. “My good is given to me by heaven, my evil by myself, by my free will, of which I am deprived.”  Michelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about my good is given to me by heaven

20. “Gazing on beautiful things acts on my soul.” Michelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about gazing on beautiful things acts on my soul

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Powerful Michaelangelo quotes

21. “Genius is eternal patience.” Michaelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about genius is eternal patience

22. “The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.” Michaelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about the true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection

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

Michaelangelo quotes about I am a poor man and of little worth

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

Michaelangelo quotes about I created a vision of David in my mind

25. “I live and love in God’s peculiar light.” Michaelangelo

Michaelangelo quotes about I live and love in God's peculiar light

26. “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michaelangelo

27. “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” Michaelangelo

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28. “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

29. “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

30. “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

Michaelangelo quotes to inspire and teach

31. “No great work of art is ever finished.” Michelangelo

32. “Only God creates. The rest of us just copy.” Michelangelo

33. “Lord, make me see thy glory in every place.” Michelangelo

34. “It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand.” Michaelangelo

35. “Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” Michaelangelo

36. “My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.” – Michaelangelo

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

38. “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

39. “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

40. “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

More Michaelangelo quotes and sayings

41. “Your greatness is measured by your horizons.” Michelangelo

42. “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.” Michaelangelo

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43. “There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.” Michaelangelo

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

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

46. “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

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. “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

49. “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

50. “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

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.

2 Comments
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2 Comments
  1. JL

    May 18, 2023 at 4:29 PM

    “The level of our success is limited only by our imagination…” is widely cited as from Aesop.

  2. Veronica M.

    March 18, 2022 at 11:57 AM

    I had a few favorites…

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

    “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.”

    “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”

    Adore these quotations. What a gift!

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