Inspirations and Speculations

Paintings in Film | Inspirations and Speculations | Art | Michelangelo

The inspiration for this website was Susan Seidelman’s 1994 short film The Dutch Master (1994) where the dental hygienist Teresa becomes fascinated by a Dutch painting in MoMa. The painting’s characters suddenly take on a life of their own and Teresa enters an erotic fantasy world of luxurious colours and sensual costumes. As a result […]

More Films by Painters

Paintings in Film | Films by Painters | Graffiti | Salvador Dalí

The painters dealt with in the second section of this subject are Alexander Petrov, Hwang Ildong, Maria Lassnig,Yayoi Kusama, Len Lye and Banksy. Also worthy of consideration are Robert Smithson, James Scott, William Kentridge and Takeshi Kitano not to mention the Dalí/Disney collaboration Destino. Alexander Petrov (1957- Russia, animator and animation director). The below are […]

Films ‘inspired’ by Paintings

Paintings in Film | Films 'inspired' by Paintings | Woman looking at painting

Popular paintings that may—or may not?—have been the inspiration behind films… Without denying the sheer enjoyability of such speculations it is sometimes a bit of a leap of faith to claim that not just one or a few sequences but a whole film or at the very least the whole ‘feel’ of a film has […]

TV / Television

Paintings in Film | TV | Picture of Florida/Miami

Miami Vice “The Lost Madonna”, season 5 episode 14 first broadcast 17 March 1989 Miami Vice’s film worthy televisual and aesthetic qualities can be perceived in the way it presents itself as a total work of art both aurally with its innovative deployment of music and visually with its use of Art Deco locations in […]

Individual Films

Paintings in Film | Individual Films | Aux Folies-Bergère | Manet

A selection of films plus one TV episode in which paintings play an important narrative role. What is decisive here is that the paintings featured in the films are crucial in driving the narrative forward and are not just used for background effect. The Impossible (Egypt 1965 Hussein Kamal) A domestic drama that employs painting […]

Individual Directors

Paintings in Film | Individual Directors | Selbstporträt "Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer" | Caspar David Friedrich

Eight film directors will be considered whose films have been variously concerned with the art of painting. Five of the below developed an interest in painting at an early age two of who went on to study it—Jarman at the Slade, Greenaway at Walthamstow College of Art. Russell studied photography at Walthamstow Technical College and […]

Other Painter Biopics

Paintings in Film | Other Painter Biopics | Painting of Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh has had the most films made about him followed by Rembrandt van Rijin and Pablo Picasso. The other painters come from Ireland, Argentina, Hungary, Estonia and Russia among many other countries. The order of the list down to Jackson Pollock has been determined by the number of films made about the painter. […]

East Asian Painting and Cinema

Paintings in Film | East Asian Painting and Cinema: Japan, South Korea and China | "Last Moments of Admiral Yamaguchi" | Wikipedia

Biopics about Japanese, South Korean and Chinese painters among other films. The groundbreaking, seminal study edited by Ehrlich and Desser on Sino-Japanese paintings and film must be mentioned at the start (see bibliography). Donald Richie’s article from it on “Film and the Visual Arts in Japan” can serve as a brief introduction here where he […]

Queer Biopics

Paintings in Film | Queer Biopics | Andy Warhol

Films about Andy Warhol and David Hockney in particular, but also about Caravaggio, Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Wojnarowicz. Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio can also be found in the Individual Directors sections and in the following article about “the emergence of the queer artist biopic” by David Bovey. Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio (1571-1610) […]

Biopics of Twenty-Two Women Painters

Paintings in Film | Biopics of Eight Women Painters | Frida Kahlo

There are uncanny parallels between the difficulties budding women painters and film directors have encountered breaking into their respective fields. And while progress has been made, it has been an unacceptably long haul. Twenty-two women painters have been the subject of one or more film biopic. Eleven of the films now to come were directed […]