Movies for Art Lovers
Many artists have to overcome extraordinary circumstances to create. A finished work may offer hints about an artist's journey, but it does not tell the full story. The films on the following list have recognizable artist names and those that may be unfamiliar. These films help to put each artist's work into context by offering important historical and personal details. We have also included Peggy Guggenheim on the list. Though she was not an artist, she was a patron and collector who acted as a catalyst to advance a number of careers.
The movie examines the life and career of French painter Séraphine Louis who was known as Séraphine de Senlis. She was a talented artist working as a cleaning lady when she was discovered by a German art critic. Actress Yolande Moreau's portrayal of Séraphine is mesmerizing.
Lust for Life (1956)
Kirk Douglas stars in this 1950s biopic about Vincent van Gogh.
Ed Harris portrays American painter Jackson Pollock. The former carpenter lives a tortured life while creating what would become coveted, iconic works of art.
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
It is believed that Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer only created 36 paintings in his lifetime. One of his most famous paintings is Girl with a Pearl Earring. The film tells the imagined story of the relationship between Vermeer and the subject of his masterpiece.
Salma Hayek earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of acclaimed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Kahlo's husband Diego Rivera was a painter and muralist, and the couple had a combustible relationship. They divorced in 1939, then remarried a year later. Kahlo and Rivera are considered to be among the leading artists of the 20th century.
This is a biopic about Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. The film focuses on his rivalry with Pablo Picasso and his ill-fated love affair with Jeanne Hébuterne.
Downtown 81 (2013)
The movie tells the fascinating life story of American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis is the subject of this film. Afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis from birth, she lived a quiet life in a one-room house. It was there that Lewis created her famous works of art.
This is the true story of the relationship between English painter Dora Carrington and writer Lytton Strachey.
Bearden Plays Bearden (2012)
James Earl Jones narrates this award-winning documentary about renowned artist Romare Bearden.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (2015)
This is a candid, intimate portrait of art patron and collector Peggy Guggenheim. She was a risk taker who collected art the way she lived her life - on her own terms.
Now, for the popcorn... Around here, we like to add curry powder and pistachios to our bowl. Or, extra butter and dried herbs. Whatever your preference, we hope you enjoy the movies.