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Pope Julius is eager to leave behind works by which he will be remembered. To this end he cajoles Michelangelo into painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When not on the battlefield uniting Italy, the Pope nags Michelangelo to speed up his painful work on the frescoes.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Writer Irving Stone was able to gain access to some of Michelangelo's letters, which he had translated from Italian, and then had them published in 1962 as "I, Michelangelo, Sculptor". See more »
During most of his reign, HH Julius II wore a beard; however, apparently because of Harrison's preference, the Pope is clean shaven through the entire movie. See more »
I'm a Florentine and a Christian... painting in this century. They were Greeks and pagans living in theirs. Pagans? Christians? An artist should be above such distinction. And a cardinal, especially one who pretends to understand art... should be above such foolishness. I'll tell you what stands between us and the Greeks. Two thousand years of human suffering stands between us! Christ on His Cross stands between us. And this difference is what I will express in my paintings. Just as I'll paint ...
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During the 16th century, many artists arrived in Rome to fulfill their dreams of earning a place in the "Book of Florence." Among the top five, two stand out with little or no further introduction, other than their names. Names which today personify the epitome of the Renaissance artists. The first is Leonardo de Vinci and the second is Michelangelo Buonarroti, (Charlton Heston). This film, "The Agony and The Extesy" is the story of the latter. Based on a novel by Irving Stone, it relates the clash of tempers between Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) and the artist who claimed he was first and foremost a sculpturer. Through the turbulent years of Julius's reign, during which time he tried to unify the Papal States by force, he gave a most difficult, nay, nearly impossible commission to Buonarroti, to fresco the ceiling with some "Appropriate Design" for the Cistine Chappel, on his back, on a curved surface 70 feet in the air. The film illustrates the great suffering the artist endured for a commission he never asked for. During the same time, the pope did his best to make a bid for immortality, by forcing the painter to do the impossible. The fact we are given Harry Andrews to play Bramante, who is the pope's architect and Adolfo Celi as Giovanni de Medici, adds to the film becomes history in the making. The movie itself is classic in nature and it's effect is breathtaking in it's climatic rendering. Excellance is the final gift. ****
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