The Department of Art History at UBC provides movie screenings (mostly documentaries) every other Tuesday. The first film they showed was about a young kid artist who's apparently super famous. The name of the girl and the film escapes me and hopefully I'll remember it eventually. The most recent film and the first one I've actually gone to see was shown on Tuesday titled "The Rape of Europa." The documentary is based on a book The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War by Lynn Nicholas. This is a story of Nazi Germany's plungering of Europe's great works of art during World War II. This movie introduced to me a new level of history and art. I was so intrigued and interested by this emotional film that it was hard to even blink my eyes.
Hitler was mad, but he was also mad about art. This film is impetus to my interest in WWII and art. The focused paintings shown in the film that really caught my attention were Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer and Raphael's Portrait of a Young Man.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is a painting filled with mystery. It's a wonderfully detailed oil painting with silver and gold on canvas. Portrait of a Young Man is oil on canvas. It's beautifully coloured and displayed the intricate use of light and shade.
Raphael's Portrait of a Young Man is among the three most wanted art works by the Nazi Government. The other two being Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine and Rembrant's Landscape with Good Samaritan. Both of these two paintings have been recovered after the war and currently located in Czartoryski Museum in Krakow and in a private collection, respectively. Raphael's famous piece is yet to be found.
Art makes us human. Art reminds us of the significant of antiquary and the purity of origins. History is buried in people, in places and in things. It is continuously being made and discovered, learned and interpreted.