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An Art Lover’s Guide of Six Fantastic Movies About Famous Artists

For lovers art, who miss going to art museums and exhibitions, how about binging on some fantastic movies about very famous artists.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have turned upside down. Travelling abroad or even interstate is practically impossible, and for some of us, a terrifying prospect. And libraries, cinemas, theater and art museums are temporarily closed for god knows how long!! So here is my list of great movies for you to watch in the safety of your home.

Don’t forget to make the popcorn and enjoy!

Movies About Famous Artists
Movies About Famous Artists

Movies about artists during the French Impressionism & Post-Impressionism era

1. Lust for Life (1956)

A Fantastic Movie about the Tragic Life of the Dutch Artist, Vincent Van Gogh

Lust for Life is Vincent Minnelli’s adaptation of Irving Stone’s fictionalized biography about the artist Vincent Van Gogh. Kirk Douglas does a spectacular job of portraying the Dutch painter, who lived a life of poverty and hardship for the sake of his art. This movies is a classic!

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2. Loving Vincent ( 2017)

Loving Vincent is an animated biographical drama about the difficult life of Vincent van Gogh and his sudden death.  The film is illustrated through painted animation of Van Gogh’s artworks . Technically, the movie is an incredible achievement! 100 artists hand-painted each frame, resulting in a magnificent tribute to the beautiful but misunderstood soul of Vincent Van Gogh. Check out the trailer and watch this incredible movie.

3. Modigliani (2004)

Set in Paris in 1919, the movie Modigliani focuses on the final years of Amedeo Modigliani‘s life. During these years, Modigliani, a Jewish artist, fell in love with Jeanne Hébuterne, his catholic girlfriend. Hébuterne’s prejudiced parents rejected this union. Modigliani also struggled as an artist and quietly suffered with tuberculosis. To cope with his depression and constant self doubt as an artist, he turned to alcohol and drugs. Like Van Gogh, Modigliani felt he was a failure for his entire life and died totally penniless. This movie is a gem!

4. Camille Claudel (1988)

This movie tells the story about the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin (portrayed by Gérard Depardieu) and his equally talented, beautiful and 20 years younger mistress, Camille Claudel (portrayed by Isabelle Adjani). Camille, a talented sculptress herself, sacrifices her own work to become Auguste’s muse and assistant. However, eventually Claudel feels frustrated and yearns recognition for her own talent.

Years after Rodin leaves Claudel, she starts spiraling downhill into mental illness. She becomes paranoid that Rodin is trying to steal her ideas, destroy her reputation and ruin her life. At first people thought that Claudel was eccentric but in 1913, her mother and brother committed her into an insane asylum. Tragically, she remained there for thirty years and until her death at the age of 78.

5. Berthe Morisot (2012)

The wonderful French movie Berthe Morisot transports you in time to Belle Epoque Paris, during the early days of impressionism art. Berthe Morisot was a young woman, aspiring to become a successful artist in a time when a woman’s role was to marry and to become a mother.

The movie shows the complicated relationship between Morisot and Edouard Manet. It also wonderfully portrays how she develops as an artist and manages to succeed and gain recognition in the male dominated art world. Berthe Morisot was a determined, talented and very impressive woman. Her story continues to inspire!

6. Edvard Munch (1974)

This wonderful docudrama movie, directed by Peter Watkins portrays the tormented life of the great Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. It spans a ten-year period (1884-1894) but also provides flashbacks into traumatic events that happened in his early childhood. After watching this movie, you get perspective into his very famous painting “The Scream” .

Looking for an art historical fiction book about the French impressionists or post-impressionists, check out my list below: