7 Inspirational Films About Art and Artists

If you love creativity and the arts, find inspiration in these incredible films

It’s important to constantly expand your library of inspirations and references to give yourself a solid background in visual culture. One excellent practice is to learn about art history and to listen to the voice of other artists in order to learn and grow continuously as a creative.

This is something that Shane Wolf (@shane_wolf) knows well. It led him to discover that his true vocation was to follow the call of art. Exploring the work of other artists helps him discover something new in his own creative practice.

Which is why Shane has shared his list of 7 Films About Art and Artists. He’s often very critical about artist biographies on film, so these recommendations are special:

Klimt (2006)

Dir. Raoul Ruiz

This biography of Austrian artist: Gustav Klimt stars John Malkovich. Although it wasn’t popular with critics, some of whom described it as an enigmatic work, the film was selected in competition at the Berlinale. It teaches you about the artist’s relationships with figures like Egon Schiele and Georges Méliès.

Caravaggio (2007)

Dir. Angelo Longoni

This Italian TV movie recounts the real drama of this Baroque artist’s life. Many are unaware that his life was full of controversy, initially because of his confrontation with Renaissance standards, and then because his life was filled with excess and caused great scandals.

Loving Vincent (2017)

Dirs. Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman

This experimental work features an incredible style of animation. A team of 125 artists painted the film’s 65,000 frames using oil paint! The film received numerous festival nominations and was nominated for the Oscars. It takes place after Vincent van Gogh’s death, when his last letter (to his brother Theo) is delivered. It reveals details of the artist’s last days.

Camille Claudel (1988)

Dir. Bruno Nuytten

This French film tells of the dramatic life of sculptor Camille Claudel, who was tormented by her love for Auguste Rodin. The story is based on the book by Reine-Marie Paris, one of the artists’ relatives. Isabel Adjani won several major awards and nominations for her performance. Another version of Claudel’s story was made into a film starring Juliette Binoche in 2013.

Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery (2014)

Dir. Arne Birkenstock

This documentary is about the life of German art forger Wolfang Beltracchi, the man at the center of Germany’s biggest art scandal since the Second World War. He forged the work of artists like Ernst, Léger and van Dongen, and sold these forgeries for around $45 million.

The Best Offer (2013)

Dir. Giuseppe Tornatore

The star cast (Donald Sutherland, Geoffrey Rush and Jim Sturgess) and Ennio Morricone’s music make this Italian psychological thriller. It's set in the world of European art auctions and examines the elite few who have access to some of history’s most valuable works.

National Gallery (2014)

Dir. Frederick Wiseman

This documentary was selected to compete at Cannes. It explores the details of one of the world’s most beautiful and most important museums: London’s National Gallery. Learn more about the over two thousand paintings in its collection and their relationship to contemporary artists and other arts.

If you want to learn more with Shane, sign up for his course: Dynamic Figure Drawing. You’ll learn how to capture the form and movement of the human body.

English version by @studiogaunt

You may also like:

- 3 Steps to Become a Happy Full-Time Artist.
- 4 Hoaxes That Shook the Modern Art World.
- 7 Tips for Photographing Your Artwork.

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