Monday, August 10, 2015

Movies About Artists

Movies about artists

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love movies! When the Elgin video store sadly closed its doors recently (after thirty years) they sold off their eclectic and off-the-beaten path collection of videos. I decided to research names of movies that were focussed on the lives of artists and head to Elgin Video to purchase them. Luckily I found several  on my list below.

Some of the older movies in the list below are available online for free (see my note *WATCH ONLINE*) There are also a number of excellent documentaries that are available for free online like the one on Johannes Vermeer -  Master of Light (that I absolutely loved) but this blog list is strictly about movies. I am planning an artist documentaries list for later (check out the Top 10 Documentaries Every Art Lover Should Watch)

Enjoy the vintage video of artists Renoir, Monet, Picasso and O'Keeffe that I have embedded at the very bottom of this page.

If you enjoyed a movie about an artist, and it is not included here, please add it in the comment section below.

Movies about Women Artists
  • Frida Still Life (1983)  The most prominent female painter of Latin America, Frida Kahlo, is agonizing in her Coyoacán home. 
  • Camille Claudel (1988) Biography of Camille Claudel. Sister of writer Paul Claudel, her enthusiasm impresses already-famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. 
  • Carrington (1995) The platonic relationship between artist Dora Carrington and writer Lytton Strachey in the early 20th century.
  • Artemisia (1997) Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) was one of the first well-known female painters. The movie tells the story of her youth, when she was guided and protected by her father.
  • Frida (2002) A biography of artist Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work. 
  • Miss Potter (2006) The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children's book, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", and her struggle for love, happiness and success.
  • Séraphine (2008) Based on the life of French painter Séraphine de Senlis.
  • Georgia O'Keeffe (2009 TV Movie) Biopic of American artist Georgia O'Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
  • Camille Claudel 1915 (2013) Winter, 1915. Confined by her family to an asylum in the South of France - where she will never sculpt again - the chronicle of Camille Claudel's reclusive life, as she waits for a visit from her brother, Paul Claudel.
Movies About Men Artists

  • Rembrandt (1936) This character study joins the painter at the height of his fame in 1642, when his adored wife suddenly dies and his work takes a dark turn *WATCH ONLINE*
  • Lust For Life (1956) The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh. 
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.
  •  Edvard Munch (1974) *WATCH ONLINE*
  •  Oviri (1986) This biographical film, based on the life of French artist Paul Gauguin (Donald Sutherland), follows the painter as he returns to Paris after a long stay in Tahiti 
  • Vincent and Theo (1990) The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.
  • Van Gogh (1991) The final 67 days of Van Gogh's life is examined.
  • Crumb (1994) An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.
  • Surviving Picasso (1996) The passionate Merchant-Ivory drama tells the story of Francoise Gilot, the only lover of Pablo Picasso who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty and move on with her life.
  • Basquiat (1996) Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
  • Rembrandt (1999)
  • American Splendor (2003) 
  • Paradise Found (2003) A successful 19th century French stockbroker (Gauguin) leaves his profession to become an artist in Paris.
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) A young peasant maid working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer becomes his talented assistant and the model for one of his most famous works
  •  In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)  A documentary on Henry Darger, visionary artist, janitor, and novelist.Modigliani (2004) The story of Amedeo Modigliani's bitter rivalry with Pablo Picasso, and his tragic romance with Jeanne Hebuterne.
  • Goya's Ghosts (2006)  Painter Francisco Goya faces a scandal involving his muse, who is labeled a heretic by a monk.
  • Nightwatching (2007) An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting THE NIGHT WATCH
  • Caravaggio (2007 - TV Movie) The tumultuous and adventurous life of Michelangelo Merisi, controversial artist, called by Fate to become the immortal Caravaggio.
  • Midnight In Paris
  • The Mill and the Cross (2011) The film focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in Bruegel's painting. The theme of Christ's suffering is set against religious persecution in Flanders in 1564.
  • Renoir (2012) Set on the French Riviera in the summer of 1915, Jean Renoir -- son of the Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste -- returns home to convalesce after being wounded in World War I.
  • The Moon and Sixpence (1942) Loosely inspired from Gauguin's life, the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbrocker who abandons his middle-classed life, his family, his duties to start painting, what he has always wanted to do. He is from now on a awful human being, wholly devoted to his ideal: beauty *WATCH ONLINE* (subtitles)
  • Local Color (2006) A successful artist looks back with loving memories on the summer of his defining year, 1974. A talented but troubled 18-year-old aspiring artist befriends a brilliant elderly alcoholic painter who has turned his back on not only art but life.
  • Waiting for Hockney (2008) A young working class Baltimore man spends 10 years on a single portrait, believing it is his means to fame and fortune.
  • Herb & Dorothy (2008) Herb and Dorothy Vogel redefine what it means to be an art collector.
  • Midnight in Paris (2011) While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight
  • Tim's Vermeer (2013)  Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.
Recent Movies

  • Mr. Turner (2014) An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner's life.
  • Big Eyes (2015) A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.
Vintage Movies

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