01/10/16 Aggiornato il:

Michelangelo Buonarroti | High Renaissance /Mannerist painter and sculptor | Quotes



  • A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.
  • Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
  • 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.
  • My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness.

  • Si dipinge col cervello e non con le mani.
  • Come fiamma più cresce più contesa dal vento, ogni virtù, che il cielo esalta, tanto più splende quant'è più offesa.
  • La mia allegrezza è la malinconia.
  • Desti a me quest'anima divina e poi la imprigionasti in un corpo debole e fragile, com'è triste viverci dentro.
  • L'amore è l'ala che Dio ha dato all'anima per salire sino a lui.
  • L'amore risveglia e desta e 'mpenna l'ale, né l'alto vol preschive al van furore; qual primo grado c'al suo creatore, di quel non sazia, l'alma ascende e sale.
  • Ama, anz'ardi; che chi muore | non ha da gire al ciel nel mondo altr'ale.
  • Beata l'alma, ove non corre tempo, per te s'è fatta a contemplare Dio.
  • Non ha l'ottimo artista alcun concetto ch'un marmo solo in se non circoscriva col suo soverchio, et solo à quello arriva la man, che ubbidisce all'intelletto.

  • Se strisci sempre non cadi mai.
  • Il vero obiettivo non è porsi obiettivi troppo alti e non raggiungerli ma porseli troppo bassi e raggiungerli.
  • Puoi comprare il mio tempo, ma non la mia mente.


  • Signore, fa che io possa sempre desiderare più di quanto riesca a realizzare.
  • Assai acquista chi perdendo impara.
  • Tutta la matematica del mondo non potrà mai supplire la mancanza di genio.
  • Vivo ed amo nella peculiare luce di Dio.
  • Si affermano mille menzogne sui più celebri pittori, e la prima è il dire che essi sono strani, e che la loro
  • conversazione è dura e insopportabile. E così, non la gente moderata, ma quella stupida, li giudica fantastici e capricciosi.
  • Il marmo è come l'uomo, prima di intraprendere qualcosa, devi conoscerlo bene e sapere tutto ciò che ha dentro. Così, se in te ci sono delle bolle d'aria, io stò sciupando il mio tempo.

  • If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.
  • 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.
  • It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand.
  • Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
  • My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness.
  • A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.
  • If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.
  • 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.
  • It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand.
  • Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.
  • The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
  • There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.
  • The best artist has that thought alone Which is contained within the marble shell; The sculptor's hand can only break the spell To free the figures slumbering in the stone.
  • Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop.
  • I am still learning.
  • I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
  • I live and love in God's peculiar light.
  • Good painting is the kind that looks like sculpture.
  • What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?
  • From such a gentle thing, from such a fountain of all delight, my every pain is born.
  • If we have been pleased with life, we should not be displeased with death, since it comes from the hand of the same master.
  • The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.
  • What do you despise? By this you are truly known.
  • 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.
  • Genius is eternal patience.


  • I cannot live under pressures from patrons, let alone paint.
  • The more the marbles wastes, the more the statue grows.
  • Even if you are divine, you don't disdain male consorts.
  • I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all.
  • 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.
  • Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.
  • Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.
  • Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.
  • A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.
  • 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.
  • The best of artists has no conception that the marble alone does not contain within itself.
  • The greatest artist has no conception which a single block of white marble does not potentially contain within its mass, but only a hand obedient to the mind can penetrate to this image.