Art in Movies

Art in Movies
Posts on famous oil paintings that find their way to the silver screen. Read the stories behind famous art in blockbuster motion pictures...
The Monuments Men

"The Monuments Men" is the title of the new film directed by George Clooney. A humorous, powerful and engaging film based on Robert M. Edsel's book 'The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History'. Starring Matt Damon, Bill Murray and other heavy weight actors as a platoon of art specialists tasked to get as close as possible to the German front-line during World War II to find and retrieve stolen pieces of art, worth billions of dollars, before their destruction by the Nazis.As an art lover, Hitler spent some time after his father's death being inspired by the city of Linz, dreaming about becoming an artist – along with his best friend August Kubizek, who wanted to be a great musician. The failure on his exams to attend the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts - two years in a row - burned his dream to the ground, but not his obsession.During World War II, he led a campaign to loot and plunder art from Jews and the occupied countries to build a Third Reich Art Museum in Austria, which would remain in glory after his death. Many of the Nazi Party leaders...

Last night on the Grimm, Nick struggled with the kiss of the Musai, a Wesen equivalent of the Muse, and we discovered an interesting connection to two master artists: Van Gogh and Gauguin. Just to warn you, spoilers may be ahead. Read at your own risk.“I don't force them,” says Chloe, the Musai, as being even closer to her makes Nick hers, but that's the catch... No one can ever possess her. The manifestation of desire is purely natural around her. The concept of the Muse is seen throughout many cultures. In Celtic myth, the muse becomes almost vampiric in the end, living off the essence of the creativity and addiction of the artistic lover, while he dies.As the plot progresses, Monroe, Rosalee, Hank, and Juliette must band together and save him, as he saved Juliette. Monroe's research leads to the discovery that the mysterious woman is is a Musai, a Wesen whose true form resembles a cross between a sparkly Twilight vampire and the blue pointy-eared Na'vi from Avatar.Of course, Musai have a thing for artists or that yet to manifest potential within, as Monroe discovers in his reading. From a mere kiss, the victim becomes obsessed with the...
James Cameron Sinks Picasso's "Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon"

There has been a storm raging over the latest version of the movie Titanic. Re-released in 3D at the beginning of April, James Cameron’s Titanic has been caught in the center of a whirlpool.The original film grossed over $600 million in the US alone, which was a record at the time.  As a movie, it was emotional and engrossing, telling the tale of the fictional star-crossed couple Rose and Jack (played by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the ill-fated luxury liner.While the movie was based on actual events and some real people, many of the story points are fictionalized or stretched for artistic license. For example, there was no Le Couer de la Mer (The Heart of the Ocean) necklace. It was a wonderfully romantic story device to propel the movie.  However, the blue diamond necklace is based on the supposedly cursed Hope Diamond. Further, there was a sapphire necklace aboard the actual Titanic, and Cameron may have woven much of the truth to create a different reality.The creative liberties also extended to the art (paintings) owned by Rose in the film, points of which have made people wonder whether the pieces actually sank with the Titanic.First, when Jack...
Jane Eyre: Lustful Feminist

The Oscar-nominated films of 2012 have a very apparent feminist vibe. Strong independent women dream, fight for themselves, build their lives despite hardships, social oppression, misunderstanding, and gender and racial limitations. The suffering, struggling, and wining woman is “the collective superhero” of this movie season.“The Girl with The Dragoon Tattoo”, “Chico & Rita”, “Jane Eyre”, “The Iron Lady”, “The Help”, “Albert Nobbs”, “Bridesmaids”, and even the beloved film of the season “The Artist” all celebrate strong resilient women.This is a call for celebrating women artists for whom the challenges of building a career and finding acceptance and appreciation in the world of men were not much different from those faced by women trying to succeed in politics, writing, on stage, or fighting for women’s rights.The quintessence of a struggling, strong, talented woman is the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Suffering from early childhood from polio, she sustained serious injuries during a traffic incident at the age of 18. With almost every bone broken including her spinal column, and important inner organs injured, she still survived. Her whole life she suffered from pain, physical limitations, and an inability to carry pregnancies to term.Instead of being the end of all...
The Oscar-nominated film The Descendants

The Oscar-nominated film The Descendants creates the deceptive flair of a genuine Paradise on a tropical island full of leisure, joy and happiness. The sun, flowers, the ocean, beautiful people in colorful Hawaiian shirts, the slow pace of life... what is more representative of Paradise on Earth, our collective dream of a natural care-free life? As the narrative of the film unveils we see the inhabitants of the island suffering, losing, looking for the meaning of life, and fighting for their identities.It was the dawn of film as an art form when Paul Gauguin, a not very successful businessman, left the “artificial” world of European civilization for French Polynesia to participate in the simpler life of people who were closer to nature, and more open and truthful in expressing their feelings and emotions.The vivid primary colors, combinations of deep blue, shiny yellow, bright red, and vibrant green he used in his paintings reflected the beauty and jubilation of tropical nature, where the sun always shines and flowers always bloom. The simplified monumental shapes of nude female bodies make them look like powerful mythological spirits or goddesses of life and fertility. The triumph of life and nature, an ideal...
The Titanic

For most modern people such concepts as an iceberg, Arctic waters and sunken ships immediately bring to mind the tragedy of the Titanic, so well documented and romanticized in art. The famous film Titanic with Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, has made the event of the Titanic’s demise a huge part of popular culture. Meanwhile, a lot of smaller films and TV serials cannot resist making it part of their plot.In the still popular TV series Upstairs Downstairs, the lady of the house perishes on the sinking ship on her way to New York. Lately the mysterious Patrick, lost heir of Downton Abbey, met the same death just to reappear later, burnt to total disfigurement (or was he an impostor?). The mythology of the Titanic and the number of its passengers seems to have been growing steadily since 1912.In fact, a huge interest in Arctic imagery and mythology appeared long before 1912 and is well reflected in the art of William Bradford, an American marine artist of the middle of the 19th century.His Arctic Scene Oil Painting created in 1881 is one of the documents of his own explorations of the North. The almost monochromatic warm color of...
Joseph William Turner - Tintern Abbey

English Romantic landscape painter J.M.W. Turner reflected the elegant glamorous ruins of Tintern Abbey more than once in his paintings. William Wordsworth and Lord Tennyson left beautiful lines inspired by the mysterious beauty of its ruins. Memories of the feelings and people “that are no more”. “Tears, Idle Tears” by Tennyson are full of sadness, regret, thoughts of death and friends already gone into the underworld.Dear as remembered kisses after death, And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign'd On lips that are for others; deep as love, Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; O Death in Life, the days that are no more!"The mysterious Tintern Abbey is not a mythological place but a Cistercian monastery in Monmouthshire founded in 1131. Its ruins are still standing and attract tourists, poets and artists.Surprisingly people of today, who have never heard of it know more than they realize about it by facts and associations. Who does not know unhappy king Henry VIII who is famous for his numerous marriages and the legend that he killed all of his wives? Bookstores and libraries are full of tragic novels of his passion for Ann Boleyn who he married and executed a few...
Da Vinci - Lady With an Ermine

The sitter for the famous Da Vinci portrait, Lady with Ermine, is a beautiful and talented lady - Cecilia Galerani. On the portrait she is about sixteen, already a woman, whose life took a few dramatic turns in the hands of her ambitious father. Not of noble birth, he tried to arrange the marriage of his ten-year old daughter into a noble family. What is known next is that the marriage never took place and a few years later she became the mistress of her father’s patron, the Milanese duke Ludovico Sforza, known as Ludovico el Moro. His unattractive appearance and the suspicious death of his nephew under his regency created a monstrous aura around his personality, which is reflected in the recent TV series The Borgias.In reality he was a wise ruler and a patron of the arts and his court was one of the major cultural centers of the time. His beautiful, well-educated fifteen-year old bride, Beatrice d'Este, became the center of Milan’s numerous festivities and the heart of poetic, philosophical, and artistic circles for the next six years of her married life.The image presented in The Borgias - an ugly monster sitting in his...
Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris brings out the greatest artists of Paris in the roaring 20's

It has been a while since I have been so drawn to a movie as I was to the recent creation of Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris. This time the story and the coming-to-life of the most influential poets, painters and thinkers of the roaring 20′s in Paris are simply amazing!In the movie, disenchantment with the present leads Gil, a naive but endearing American played by Owen Wilson, to return to the golden age of the 1920s. One night, having taken leave of the fiancée who doesn't understand him, he is wandering the streets of Paris when a clock rings out the chimes of midnight. A vintage black car pulls up, its doors swing open and its passengers invite him to a party. After a while it dawns on Gil that he has been transported back in time to a soiree where he finds himself in the enjoyably loquacious company of Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.I have lost myself in the feelings of this particular movie so much that I was genuinely upset that I cannot be there – up there on the screen! Dancing, drinking absinth and getting the inside scoop on a Picasso...
Work of Art: The Next Great Artist

overstockArt.com announced last week that it has joined forces with Bravo and Magical Elves to launch a new line of artwork from the cable network’s series "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist." The exclusive line of reproduced artwork is created by the artists participating in the creative competition series produced by Magical Elves and Pretty Matches Productions.The artwork featured in "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist" will be made available for purchase exclusively on overstockArt.com following airing of new episodes each Wednesday. Reproduced artwork created by artists who competed in the first season of the show will also be made available for purchase. The new line will be available at overstockArt.com/workofart.html.Bravo's "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist" is a creative competition series that seeks to discover new talent and shed light on the artistic process that typically occurs behind closed doors. Assembled in New York City under the watchful eye of art world elites, 14 up-and-coming artists are ready to make their mark on the industry and battle it out for a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum and a cash prize of $100,000."We’re constantly looking for ways to innovate, furthering the proliferation of our brand...