If there’s one thing that separates the arts from the sciences, the former cannot be reduced to formulas and numbers. While a painting or sculpture can be analyzed precisely, its meaning is open to interpretation.
This is part of what makes art so exciting: it inspires passion and creativity in people who encounter it—and often inspires them to make their art in response.
But even if you’re not an artist yourself, studying art can help you appreciate the way human beings respond creatively and emotionally to their world. In this post we’ll explore some films about artists worth watching for anyone who wants to understand how artists work or enjoy a good story well, told
The Agony and the Ecstasy
The Agony and the Ecstasy, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II, is a 1965 film directed by Carol Reed. The film focuses on the rivalry between Michelangelo and Julius II over the design of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography (Color) and Best Costume Design (Color).
Caravaggio is an Italian artist from the 17th century. He is most famous for his intensely realistic paintings, which always featured religious scenes. Caravaggio’s paintings first drew attention when they were displayed in Rome, along with other period painters.
Caravaggio was a revolutionary painter who helped change art history forever by introducing new styles and techniques that would become commonplace among future artists. His works have been widely celebrated throughout history; even today, many museums display his work as examples of some of the best art in history!
Frida is a 2002 Mexican biopic about the life of artist Frida Kahlo, played by Salma Hayek. The film focuses on Kahlo’s relationship with her husband, Diego Rivera (Alfonso Arau). It also shows her struggles due to her polio as a child and how it affected her later in life.
This 2001 film is about the life of a famous film director named Pollack and his tumultuous relationship with his son. It was directed by, written for, and starred Pollack himself. This film was nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor (for Bobby De Niro). The movie is based on a book written by Pollack himself.
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures is a 2019 biographical drama film directed by Ondi Timoner and starring Matt Smith as photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The film explores the life of Robert Mapplethorpe and his work with other artists, including Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, and Keith Haring.
Herb & Dorothy
Herb and Dorothy is a documentary film about a couple who collected art and lived an unconventional lifestyle. The film explores their relationship, which was unconventional in itself, as they were both married to other people when they met. Herb Vogel worked at MoMA as an accountant while his wife Dorothy worked as an art teacher at a New Jersey high school.
These films are a great way to get into the art world, whether you’re an art lover or not. They will introduce you to some of the most famous painters and sculptors in history and show how their work influenced other artists and continues to resonate today. They also serve as an introduction to one of the fascinating subjects, human creativity!