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Happiness adds and multiplies, as we divide it with others.
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I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (6 March 1475 - 18 February 1564) was an Italian architect, painter, poet and sculptor.


  • Your lordship, only worldly light in this age of ours, you can never be pleased with another man's work for there is no man who resembles you, nor one to equal you ... It grieves me greatly that I cannot recapture my past, so as to longer be at your service. As it is, I can only offer you my future, which is short, for I am too old ... That is all I have to say. Read my heart for "the quill cannot express good will."
    • Letter to Tommaso dei Cavalieri (1 January 1533)
  • Ancora Imparo
    • Yet I am learning
      • Inscribed next to an image of Father Time in a child's carriage, as quoted in Curiosities of Literature (1823) by Isaac Disraeli
    • Variant translations:
    • Still I learn!
    • As translated by Ralph Waldo Emerson in "Poetry and Imagination" (1847)
    • I am still learning.
  • Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.
  • I was never the kind of painter or sculptor who kept a shop.
    • As quoted in In Our Time : The Artist, BBC Radio 4 (28 March 2002)
  • If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn't call it genius.
    • On the paintings in the Sistine Chapel, as quoted in Speeches & Presentations Unzipped (2007) by Lori Rozakis, p. 71
  • 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.
    • Sonnet, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).


  • Caro m' è 'l sonno, e più l'esser di sasso,
    Mentre che 'l danno e la vergogna dura:
    Non veder, non sentir, m' è gran ventura;
    Però non mi destar, deh! parla basso
    • Welcome is sleep, more welcome the sleep of stone Whilst crime and shame continue in the land; My happy fortune, not to see or hear; Waken me not - in mercy, whisper low.
    • In reply to Giovan Battista Strozzi's epigram for the Night.
  • I live and love in God's peculiar light.
  • I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
  • What good I have comes from the pure air of your native Arezzo, and also because I sucked in chisels and hammers with my nurse's milk.
  • 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.
  • Criticize by creating
  • Painting is not my art.
  • The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.


  • What do you despise? By this you are truly known.
    • A few sites, perhaps most of them deriving their information from its previous placement among the "Attributed" quotes here, credit this to Michelangelo, but so far as definite citations go, it almost certainly originated with Frank Herbert when he used the phrase in the novel Dune (1965).


  • Enough, enough, enough! Say no more! Lump the whole thing! say the Creator made Italy from designs by Michael Angelo!
    • Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad. Twain humorously depicts tourists being told that most every monument in Italy was designed or painted by "Michael Angelo", oblivious to the historic significance of "Michelangelo".

See also

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