Before filmmakers were able to rely on CGI to create backdrops for some of the scenes they needed, artists used to paint matte pictures of the required vistas. Such works were used extensively throughout the original “Star Wars” trilogy of films for instance, and a collection of these images is featured here.
I knew some of the backdrops in these movies, such as this one by Frank Ordaz, were paintings, but didn’t realise just how many there actually were.
French archaeologist Marc Azéma thinks that some of the ancient paintings found on the walls of caves, such as the Chauvet caves in France, may have been very early attempts at animation, or efforts to convey a sense of motion, particularly those featuring animals.
By the by, a film well worth looking at on the subject of ancient cave paintings, and the Chauvet caves, is Cave of Forgotten Dreams, made by German film director Werner Herzog.
Mr Hadwin, from the rural Welsh village of Henllan, said the nocturnal habit began at the age of four with scribbles on kitchen tables and developed into more intricate drawings and paintings from the age of around 15.
We assume that the same creativity that goes into making art would go into stealing it. Instead, the authors show us again and again how artless most art theft is. Art crime, you see, is a dumb crime. With masterpieces in particular, it’s virtually impossible to find a buyer for a stolen work. As the authors write: “A Rembrandt, real or imagined, is far harder to sell than it is to steal.”
“The painting was forgotten for years. When it turned up at auction, Simon thought it was worth taking a gamble. It had been heavily overpainted, which makes it look like a copy. It was a wreck, dark and gloomy. It had been cleaned many times in the past by people who didn’t know better. Once a restorer put artificial resin on it, which had turned gray and had to be removed painstakingly. When they took off the overpaint, what was revealed was the original paint. You saw incredibly delicate painting. All agree it was painted by Leonardo.”