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The Paintings That Inspired The Movies
How art classics informed film…

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The Duellists

Benjamin Robert Haydon’s 1830 portrait of Napoleon at St Helena

Inspired By: Napoleon Bonaparte (Benjamin Robert Haydon)

The final scene of this early Ridley Scott drama sees keen duellist Féraud (Harvey Keitel) forever barred from fighting his favourite opponent, whereupon he stumbles to a high bluff and looks out at the sun over an estuary – a scene that clearly echoes Benjamin Robert Haydon’s 1830 portrait of Napoleon at St Helena, looking longingly back towards his lost Europe (the pocket-sized Frenchman was Féraud’s idol). This is just one moment in a film thoroughly rooted in paintings of the time: see also, of course, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, which took Hogarth as a model for its candlelit interiors.

The Duellists

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1 Nighthawks and The Sting maybe?
When I first saw this picture it reminded me so much of when Hooker (Redford) meets the female assassin posing as a waitress in the cafe. More

Posted by drico on Tuesday June 25, 2013, 11:01

2 Rembrandt?
Ah I see. Too close? More

Posted by annrhoward on Sunday June 23, 2013, 13:52

3 Rembrandt?
What about Peter Greenaway's 'Nightwatching' based on Rembrandt's painting 'The Night Watch' ? More

Posted by annrhoward on Sunday June 23, 2013, 13:51

4 RE:
Clever. Never made that link before :-) More

Posted by DunBirnin on Saturday June 22, 2013, 09:46

5 RE: Lee/Howe
Murray, they were illustrating the same subject matter as the film, so I categorised them with Dali and Spellbound as being too closely involved. More

Posted by Helen OHara on Friday June 21, 2013, 16:35


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