Pretty as a Picture: Famous Art Recreated in Film

The latest chapter of an ongoing series.
By  · Published on May 19th, 2017

The latest chapter of an ongoing series.

This is truly one of my favorite series of video essays. Every few months our friend Vugar Efendi releases a gorgeous new montage comparing classic works of visual art – paintings, y’all – with frames from popular films that have used them as direct inspiration.

Having already exhausted the more blatant instances, Efendi is now in the realm of deep cuts, which for my money I consider far more fascinating than some of the obvious stuff. For example, there’s the pairing of Alex Colville’s To Prince Edward Island with a certain frame from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, or John Singer Sargent’s 1882 masterpiece El Jaleo and it’s mirror from John Wayne’s The Alamo – that’s right, not only did Wayne direct, he knew some art as well, go figure – or The Abbey in the Oakwood by Caspar David Friedrich with Inarritu’s The Revenant. My favorite examples, though, are the ones from biopics of artists paired with their actual work, as in the case of Frieda or Lust for Life.

Bottom line, both being visual media, there is an inextricable link between painting and film, one just uses brushes over cameras, is all. Be sure once you’ve finished this video to hit Vugar’s Vimeo page for the first two installments.


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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist