The Unheard Story Behind the Sistine Chapel

My first exposure to the Sistine Chapel as a young boy was through the movie “The Agony and the Ecstasy” starring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison. It had so many quotable lines and showed the struggle and ultimately the nobility of the arts. One of the memorable moments is when Pope Julius commissions Michelangelo to paint the ceiling with “the twelve apostles, and appropriate decorations.”

I was pleased to hear that this was not cinematic license but was actually based in fact.

Elizabeth Lev is an American-born art historian with the good fortune to live and work in Rome.

Listen to her fascinating talk on the story behind Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine chapel.


Pontifex University is an online university offering a Master’s Degree in Sacred Arts. For more information visit the website at

Lawrence Klimecki is a deacon for the diocese of Sacramento as well as a working artist, he writes on art and faith at 

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