x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Playing great artists in movies

Al Pacino is set to play Henri Matisse in a new film, joining a long list of actors who have portrayed great painters on screen.

Al Pacino has signed on to play the French artist Henri Matisse in a film to be called Masterpiece. Production has yet to begin as the search continues for two female leads. Here are five other films about famous painters.

Take five... Surviving Picasso (1996)

Anthony Hopkins gives a full-throttle performance as the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in this Merchant Ivory production. Told through the eyes of his mistress, Françoise Gilot, the film paints Picasso as a selfish womaniser.

Take four... Pollock (2000)

Ed Harris was attracted to the role of the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock after receiving a copy of his biography from Pollock's father, who thought the actor possessed an uncanny resemblance to his son.

Take three… The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

Based on an Irving Stone novel and starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as the pope, this film revolves around their conflicts over the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.

Take two… Basquiat (1996)

A cult favourite with an impeccably cool cast, this biopic traces the life of the American graffiti artist and neo-expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Jeffery Wright). David Bowie plays Andy Warhol.

Take one… Frida (2002)

Salma Hayek's star turn in the title role as the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo earned her an Academy Award nomination. The director Julie Taymor brought the images to life with numerous scenes beginning as paintings before dissolving into live action.