Friday, November 01, 2013

Art in the movies

If you're not trapped on a plane like we were there's no reason to see Giuseppe Tornatore’s The best offer. This leaden heist movie is full of plodding art references (yes there are scenes based on Vermeer paintings) and the usual auction clichés. The plot involves Geoffrey Rush as Virgil Oldman (it’s that kind of movie) being scammed out of a creepy collection of portraits of women. 

Still there is one game to be played if you’re trapped inside on a rainy afternoon. By cutting and pasting the pictures into Google Images you can identify the originals of many of the paintings in the old man’s (for anyone who didn't get it the first time) collection. A quick session turned up Albrecht Dürer’s Portrait of Elspeth Tucher, Raphael’s Portrait of a young girl and his Portrait of a young woman, La Rêverie by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Jeanne Samary in a Low-Necked Dress by Petrus Christus.

Many other paintings are lovingly presented to a score by Ennio Morricone, Petrus Christus’s Portrait of a young girl is restored and even a Birth of Venus turns up.

Image: top, scenes from The best offer, then cut and paste into Images – BAM - art detective.