The Agony and the Ecstasy

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Carol Reed
Production: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
138 min

who had palled before it.

In eighteen months,

Michelangelo had transformed it to...

"The Giant of Florence":


No longer the meek shepherd,

David is shown...

at the moment of

his decision to fight.

And there is that other colossus...

originally intended

for the funeral monument...

of Pope Julius, the second...

described by a biographer as

"a better warrior than a Pope".

The "Moses".

So lifelike, says the legend...

that Michelangelo struck

its knee with a hammer...

"And now, speak!"

Here, that glory of the

sculptor's art...

the famed "Pieta" of St. Peters...

now on exhibition at

the New York World's Fair.

Created by Michelangelo

when he was 23.

Finished, polished,

no detail untouched.

In striking contrast

to this "Pieta"...

known as the Rondanini and

considered the artist's testament.

At long intervals, for the last

eleven years of his life...

and up to the day of his death,

he worked on it.

Here Michelangelo is no longer

searching for beauty...

but the most profound sign

of suffering in man.

From the perfection of

the Piet of St. Peter's...

to this final achievement

with its unfinished stamp...

the arc of his life is spanned:

the agony of creation has

finally forced him...

to define the indefinable.

On the 18th of February, 1564...

not far from this square,

the Campidoglio...

which he had designed...

Michelangelo died at the age of 89.

Acclaimed by the world for

his titanic figures in marble...

yet still best known for his

frescoes on the ceiling...

of a chapel in the Vatican,

the Sistine Chapel...

the masterpiece of a sculpture...

who did not want to paint.

The Pope!

Your Holiness, a great victory.

A great day for Rome.

For the church.

In the name of the Holy Church,

I thank you.

May God Almighty bless you.

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Irving Stone

To be distinguished from Irving I. Stone, philanthropistIrving Stone (born Tennenbaum, July 14, 1903, San Francisco, California – August 26, 1989, Los Angeles) was an American writer, chiefly known for his biographical novels of noted artists, politicians and intellectuals; among the best known are Lust for Life (1934), about the life of Vincent van Gogh, and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1961), about Michelangelo. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Agony and the Ecstasy" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 15 Jan. 2021. <>.

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