The Best Artist Biopics, Ranked

From Van Gogh’s famous “Starry Night“At Frida Kahlo’s”The two Fridas“, more often than not, we find ourselves contemplating these works of art without any idea of ​​their meaning. Each artist has his own reason for his creations, and these reasons arise from his subjective experiences. Thus, learning more about life artists gives more meaning to their pieces. It also brings those infamous creations to life. There are specific films that have captured the essence of certain artists’ lives, in turn, giving the viewer a glimpse into their experiences. some of the best biopics about the artists that depict their journeys in creating brilliant historical pieces.



8 Camille Claudel (1988)

This French biographical film focuses on the 19th century sculptor Camille Claudel. The significance of this film lies in its depiction of the sculptor’s experiences and her life, which reflect the male-dominated art world of the 19th century. Bruno Nuytten attempts “to establish Claudel’s own claims to greatness”, as historical data shows that she was most often eclipsed by her lover, Auguste Rodin. Camille Claudel illustrates the trauma Claudel, played by Isabelle Adjani, went through, while Rodin, played by Gérard Depardieu, takes everything from him. Adjani captures the intense emotions of Claudel’s character in an outstanding performance, which led to her being nominated for Best Actress at the 1989 Oscars. It’s also worth noting that even after many years the film is still relevant today. today, given the gender inequalities that still exist.


seven Thirst for Life (1956)

Based on Irving Stone’s 1934 novel of the same name, thirst for life takes the viewer through the life of Vincent van Gogh. Even though van Gogh is now a well-known artist, he was rejected many times throughout his life, and this 1956 film perfectly captures his tumultuous life. With Kirk Douglas reprising the role of van Gogh, the film begins with van Gogh’s failed attempt to become a priest like his father. Following this, we see van Gogh finding himself in the realms of art in a very unlikely way. Unlike most painters, van Gogh never intended to pursue art, nor was he satisfied with his paintings. thirst for life does not fail to show van Gogh’s pain and grief, in turn, making this a film that guarantees the viewer a sense of sympathy for the protagonist.


Based on Christy Brown’s 1954 memoir of the same name, my left foot follows Brown’s story as an Irish writer and painter with cerebral palsy. Daniel Day-Lewis takes over the role of the protagonist and delivers an amazing interpretation of his character. What makes this film and Brown’s story unique is that Brown “produced hundreds of paintings in addition to writing over a thousand letters, a classic memoir, four novels and four books of poetry. – all with the toes of his left foot, the only limb over which he had muscle control.” Day-Lewis ended up winning numerous awards, including an Oscar and a BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor.

5 Pollock (2000)

In Pollock, Ed Harris depicts the life of American painter Jackson Pollock. The film opens with Pollock as a famous Abstract Expressionist painter and takes the viewer back to his past using flashbacks. From being forced out of his brother’s apartment to being rejected by potential buyers at his first showing, the story follows Pollock’s many failures. The film also focuses on Pollock’s own flaws, such as his infidelity, and ends on a sad note as Pollock is seen driving while intoxicated, which leads to a tragic accident.


4 Maudie (2016)

Maudie is based on the “Canadian painter whose work was so exuberant that one would never guess the difficult life she lived”. Maud Dowley, played by Sally Hawkins, a cheerful character who juxtaposes her difficult experiences, comes to life in this film. We are shown how Dowley is treated with indifference by her family for her severe arthritis and how she finds happiness in the art world. Considered one of Sally Hawkins’ best performances, Hawkins adds much-needed light to the film with her brilliant execution of Dowley.

3 The Danish Girl (2015)

The Danish Girl, a film by Tom Hooper, is based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff and centers on Danish painter Lili Elbe, who is also an early recipient of gender reassignment surgery. The film focuses on Lili Elbe, originally known as Einar Wegener, and her journey to becoming a transgender woman, which began with her wife asking her to pose as a female figure. With Eddie Redmayne taking on the role of Elba, we are shown how the character faces a lot of discomfort and pain because she is forced to pose as a man until she becomes complete at the end. with the reassignment surgery, which also causes his death. It should be noted that even though Redmayne delivered an incredible performance, the actor now regrets accepting the role because “a lot of people don’t have a chair at the table” and the role should have gone to a transgender actor. .


2 Frida (2002)

Salma Hayek stars in Frida, a 2002 film that focuses on the life of the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The film began with the 1922 accident that 18-year-old Kahlo encounters, which ultimately impacted her entire life. However, this accident encourages her to paint, as the artist is seen having canvases brought to her by her father while she was on her way to recover from her ailments. Rather than focusing solely on its artistic side and its notoriety, Frida exposes Kahlo’s personal life, including her complicated relationship with Diego Rivera, played by Alfred Molina. The execution of this particular film, from its cinematography to the outstanding performances of the cast, is so phenomenal that the American Film Institute calls it an “art movie that is a work of art unto itself.”

Related:

8 Films About Visually Stunning Painters

1 Loving Vincent (2017)

Yet another movie about the infamous Vincent van Gogh, Loving Vincent unlike any other film the film world has encountered. Anna Clark gives a brief overview of how the film was made by stating; “A team of 125 classically trained oil painters worked for years on the project, producing approximately 65,000 hand-painted frames. Their work could not have been more faithful to van Gogh’s artistic style.”

This unique film allowed him to be nominated for numerous awards, including the 90th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature. What sums up the story in Loving Vincent interesting is that it focuses on van Gogh’s life after his death. We follow the protagonist, Armand Roulin, played by Douglas Booth, on a journey to deliver van Gogh’s last letter to Theo van Gogh, whose death allows the letter to land in the hands of his widow. Van Gogh comes to life through his close allies, who remember his character, in turn allowing him to live through them. It’s a brilliantly executed film, and it belongs at the top.

About Bernice D. Brewer

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