Culture The Best Movies About Real Artists  

Ranker Film
634 votes 202 voters 8k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the best biographical movies about painters, sculptors, and other types of visual artists.

On this list of the best artist biopics, you’ll find movies detailing the lives of painters, sculptors, visual artists, and a whole host of others spanning the centuries from the Renaissance to the present. Artists live such rich lives, full of volatile emotion and undeniable talent, making them perfect subjects for biographical films.


One of the best artist biopics of all time is
Frida, starring Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo and Alfred Molina as her husband, the artist Diego Rivera. Hayek was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, and she set the bar high for artist biopics. Also on this list, you will find the exceptional The Agony and the Ecstasy, starring the one and only Charlton Heston as Michelangelo during his painting of the Sistine Chapel.

Other essential artist biopics on the list include Basquiat, Pollock, and Vincent and Theo, a film about the mercurial Vincent Van Gogh and his loyal but volatile brother Theo. Vote up the best artist biopics below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

list ordered by

1
54 14
Frida is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Ashley Judd
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Frida is a 2002 Miramax/Ventanarosa biopic which depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. It stars Salma Hayek in her Academy Award-nominated ...more

2
41 19
Big Eyes is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston
Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton. Famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes, American artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) fights a legal ...more

3
30 11
Basquiat is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Jeffrey Wright, David Bowie, Courtney Love
Basquiat is a 1996 biopic/drama film directed by Julian Schnabel based on the life of American postmodernist/neo expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat, born in Brooklyn, used his ...more

4
30 12
Girl with a Pearl Earring is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Cillian Murphy
Girl with a Pearl Earring is a 2003 drama film directed by Peter Webber. The screenplay was adapted by screenwriter Olivia Hetreed, based on the novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier. ...more

5
28 12
Pollock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Jennifer Connelly, Val Kilmer, Stephanie Seymour
Pollock is a 2000 biography drama film written by Steven Naifeh, Gregory White Smith, Barbara Turner and Susan Emshwiller and directed by Ed Harris.

6
18 6
At Eternity's Gate is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac
At Eternity's Gate is a 2018 American drama film directed by Julian Schnabel. Vincent van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) spends his final days in Arles.

7
19 7
Ranker Video
Robert Gulaczyk, Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn
Loving Vincent is a 2017 animated biographical drama film directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. In a story depicted in oil painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of ...more

8
12 4
Goya's Ghosts is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Randy Quaid
Goya's Ghosts is a 2006 Spanish-American film, directed by Miloš Forman, and written by him and Jean-Claude Carrière. The film stars Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem and Stellan ...more

9
22 14
Mr. Turner is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Timothy Spall, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville
Mr. Turner is a 2014 British, French and German biographical drama film, written and directed by Mike Leigh, and starring Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey, Lesley ...more

10
13 6
Andrei Rublev is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Yuri Nikulin, Anatoly Solonitsyn, Rolan Bykov
Andrei Rublev, also known as The Passion According to Andrei, is a 1966 Russian film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky from a screenplay written by him and Andrei Konchalovsky. The film is loosely ...more

11
15 8
Surviving Picasso is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Julianne Moore, Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone
Surviving Picasso is a 1996 Merchant Ivory film starring Anthony Hopkins as the famous painter Pablo Picasso. It was directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant and David L. Wolper. ...more

12
16 9
Lust for Life is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Marion Ross
Lust for Life is a MGM biographical film about the life of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, based on the 1934 novel by Irving Stone and adapted by Norman Corwin. It was directed by Vincente ...more

13
9 3
Edvard Munch is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Susan Troldmyr, Hjordis Ulriksen, Geir Westby
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Edvard Munch is a 1974 biographical film about the Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch, written and directed by Peter Watkins. It was originally created as a three-part miniseries ...more

14
12 6
Van Gogh is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Jacques Dutronc, Elsa Zylberstein, Bernard Le Coo
Van Gogh is a 1991 French film written and directed by Maurice Pialat. It stars Jacques Dutronc in the role of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, for which he won the 1992 César Award for ...more

15
15 9
Modigliani is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Andy Garcia, Eva Herzigová, Peter Capaldi
Modigliani is a 2004 American-French-German-Italian drama biographical film written and directed by Mick Davis and starring Andy García, Elsa Zylberstein, Omid Djalili, Hippolyte ...more

16
18 12
Vincent & Theo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Tim Roth, Paul Rhys, Adrian Brine
Vincent & Theo is a 1990 biographical drama film directed by Robert Altman, starring Tim Roth and Paul Rhys. The movie is an exploration of the relationship between Vincent van Gogh and his ...more

17
16 11
The Agony and the Ecstasy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Harry Andrews
The Agony and the Ecstasy is a 1965 film directed by Carol Reed, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II. The film was partly based on Irving Stone's ...more

18
11 6
Factory Girl is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Sienna Miller, Jimmy Fallon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Factory Girl is a 2006 American biographical film based on the life of 1960s underground film star, socialite, and Warhol Superstar Edie Sedgwick. The film premiered in Los Angeles on December ...more

19
10 9
Georgia O'Keeffe is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Jeremy Irons, Joan Allen, Ed Begley
Georgia O'Keeffe is a 2009 American television biographical film, produced by City Entertainment in association with Sony Television, about noted American painter Georgia O'Keeffe and her ...more

20
6 5
Painted Fire is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Son Ye-jin, Choi Min-sik, Ahn Sung-ki
Chi-hwa-seon or Chwi-hwa-seon, is a 2002 South Korean drama film directed by Im Kwon-taek about Jang Seung-up, a nineteenth-century Korean painter who changed the direction of Korean art.

21
6 5
Lautrec is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Lautrec Elsa Zylberstein, Claude Rich, Anémone
Lautrec is a 1998 comedy, drama, biographical film written and directed by Roger Planchon.

22
10 10
Klimt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
John Malkovich, Saffron Burrows, Veronica Ferres
Klimt is a 2006 Austrian art-house biographical film about the life of the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. It was written and directed by Raoul Ruiz, with an English screenplay ...more

23
6 7
Séraphine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur, Serge Larivière
Seraphine is a 2008 film directed by Martin Provost.

24
0 1
Never Look Away is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Tom Schilling, Sebastian Koch, Paula Beer
Never Look Away is a 2018 German drama film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, inspired by the life of Gerhard Richter. In post-war East Germany, an art student (Tom Schilling) falls ...more

25
4 7
Oviri is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Real Artists
Oviri Donald Sutherland, Max von Sydow, Sofie Gråbøl
Oviri is a film directed by Henning Carlsen released on September 5, 1986.