Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Part 3 of Looking at Art's Influence on Motion Picture Design: Thomas Gainsborough and Jean-Antoine Watteau
Another example of a film heavily influenced by fine art is Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. In this case the film takes inspiration from 18th century paintings, particularly the landscapes of Watteau and Gainsborough.
From Kubrick on Barry Lyndon, An interview with Michel Ciment, Kubrick had this to say, “On Barry Lyndon, I accumulated a very large picture file of drawings and paintings taken from art books. These pictures served as the reference for everything we needed to make -- clothes, furniture, hand props, architecture, vehicles, etc. Unfortunately, the pictures would have been too awkward to use while they were still in the books, and I'm afraid we finally had very guiltily to tear up a lot of beautiful art books. They were all, fortunately, still in print which made it seem a little less sinful. Good research is an absolute necessity and I enjoy doing it.”
Gainsborough made his living painting commissioned portraits, however his favorite subjects were landscapes, which he painted for pleasure. Watteau's work was influenced by theatre and ballet, and seemed to depict idyllic charm tinged with a feeling of melancholy. Both artists had a sense of independence and individuality in their work and lives.
Barry Lyndon Trailer
The film was shot in England, Ireland, and Prussia. Interior scenes were lit and shot by candlelight which required a special lens, adding to the diffused, painterly, feathered edges look of 18th century paintings. The cinematographer, John Alcott and the art directors, Ken Adams and Roy Walker won Oscars for their work.
Looking at Art's Influence on Motion Pictures: Part One - Edward Hopper
Looking at Art's Influence on Motion Pictures: Part Two - Andrew Wyeth
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