Michelangelo on The Details


Trifles make perfection,
and perfection is no trifle.”

– Michelangelo (1475–1564)

Italian painter and sculptor

The story, 1820, slightly edited to modernize it.)…

A friend called on Michelangelo, who was finishing a statue. Sometime afterwards he called again. The sculptor was still at his work.

His friend looking at the figure exclaimed, “You have been idle since I saw you last.”

“By no means,” replied the sculptor, “I have retouched this part, and polished that. I have softened this feature, and brought out this muscle. I have given more expression to this lip, and more energy to this limb.”

“Well, well,” said his friend, “but all these are trifles.”

“It may be so,” replied Michelangelo, “but recollect that trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”