10 Classic Movies Every Art Enthusiast Will Adore

10 Classic Movies Every Art Enthusiast Will Adore

October 12, 2017

In celebration of the recent premier of Loving Vincent - a fabulous movie based on the life of Vincent van Gogh - we have compiled a list of other great movies inspired by famous artists! Our top 10 picks are listed below. Be sure to check out the list, set aside a few rainy days, get some popcorn, and let us know which movie is your favorite!


Loving Vincent (2017)

Our personal favorite – Loving Vincent is the “world’s first fully painted feature film.” This epic animation follows the life and mysterious death of our beloved artist Van Gogh.

Vincent is known not only for his famous art works, but also his difficult life, famously cutting off his ear and later killing himself after a short stay in an asylum. This movie tells this riveting story of one of the most well-known artists to date, in a creative and fresh way. Somewhat of a murder mystery, the movie uses 65,000 frames painted with oil paints (in a similar style to Van Gogh).

So, if you are a Van Gogh lover like we are, this movie is a must see! Following its release, Loving Vincent will also be opening an exhibit at the Het Noordbrabants in the Netherlands, showcasing over 70 of the paintings used for the film. This will run from October 14 2017 to January 28 2017.


Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

Another admired artist of ours, this movie tells a fictional story about Johannes Vermeer and the model for his most famous painting: Girl with a Pearl Earring. This romantic drama, based on the book by Tracy Chevalier, tells the story behind the creation of the painting and the relationship between the girl in the painting and Vermeer himself.

A maid in the house of Vermeer, Griet must secretly pose for the painting without the knowledge of Vermeer’s wife, and avoid the grasps of the paintings commissioner, Van Ruijven. Set in the 17th century in Holland, this film paints the picture of the artist and the unknown story behind his most famous piece of work.


Frida (2002)

The movie Frida is the biography of artist Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera, both Mexican painters who became acclaimed artists. Frida grew up in Mexico City and as a young woman suffers serious injuries in an accident that shatters her back. Frida lives the rest of her life in pain but overcomes it through her art and imagination.

As a student she meets the muralist Diego Rivera, sharing her art pieces with him. Their relationship becomes one of passion and trouble, as Rivera tours the globe painting murals, and Frida longs to make a mark of her own on the art world. This film is a great interpretation of the life of the famous Frida Kahlo.


Mr. Turner (2014)

This movie is about the life of the eccentric British artist J. M. W. Turner, played by Timothy Spall. Often described as the “painter of light,” Turner is a socially awkward, Romantic Impressionist artist that loves to focus on light in landscape paintings. Following the death of his father, Turner struggles with the loss and develops an intimate relationship with a bed-and-breakfast owner. The movie follows Turner, as he travels, paints and is celebrated by the public and the royal family.


Pollock (2000)

Pollock is a biographical film which tells the life story of the American painter, Jackson Pollock. Starring Ed Harris, the film starts with Pollock, usually drunk and living with his brother. Taken under the wing by Lee Krasner, an artist who takes interest in him – Pollock deals with his misery through drunken stupors and painting.

The movie portrays the life Pollock lived, and the fame that developed after his exhibition in 1950. It follows a miserable man that was given a gift, and this gift is said to have lifted his misery when he employs it. The film ends with Pollock driving drunk and crashing the car, killing himself and a passenger. It concludes by noting that Lee Krasner survived another 28 years, continuing her painting career in Pollock’s studio and promoting his legacy.


Big Eyes (2014)

Directed and produced by Tim Burton and starring Amy Adams, BIG EYES is based on the true story of artist Walter Keane, who was one of the most successful painters of the 1950s and early 1960s. His paintings of thin girls with eyes almost four times their normal size, were known to be the most popular art being produced at the time.

However, it turns out that Walter couldn’t even paint. It was his wife, Margaret, who was really painting all the “Big Eye” paintings that Walter was taking credit for. Margaret kept Walter’s secret after he threatened her when she discovered he was taking credit. Big Eyes follows Keane’s rise in the art world and the exposure of fraud he committed.


Lust for Life (1956)

Because we love Vincent van Gogh so much, another one of our picks orange movie poster lust for life also tells the story of the mysterious life of the Dutch painter. Another biographical film, this one follows the life of Van Gogh and not just the mystery behind his death.

Supported financially by his brother Theo van Gogh and living with Paul Gauguin, another favorite artist of ours, Vincent van Gogh struggles with the despair of never being able to put what he sees on paper.


Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

A little different than the other films on this list, Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary film directed by the street artist Banksy. So in this case, the artist actually made the film!

The documentary tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles, and his obsession with street art. Guetta constantly documents every waking moment on film, leading up to an introduction to Banksy himself. This documentary was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010.


Klimt (2006)

Finally, the 10th movie on our list: Klimt, is a 2006 Austrian biographical film about the life of the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. It was translated into an English screenplay adaption shortly after.




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