Art History

Art in Movies

The Goldfinch Lands In Hollywood

Hollywood has a unique way of getting an audience to look at art in a new light. Prior to the book turned movie, Girl with a Pearl Earring wasn’t of much interest to the public. Likewise, the movie Woman in Gold brought new interest to the Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer I. The latest painting to gain notoriety is The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius.

The True Story

The masterpiece on its own may not seem like much as it is relatively simple. On the small canvas, a beautifully depicted goldfinch is front and center against a simple background, perched on a small birdhouse. The goldfinch is meant to represent luck and really, the fact that we can enjoy this tiny treasure is pure luck. The young and up-and-coming artist tragically died at a young age. Fabritius’ studio was not far from an ammunition factory that exploded, killing him. However, The Goldfinch painting was, thankfully, recovered and hangs in the Amsterdam Museum.

The Hollywood Tale

The Goldfinch Movie Poster
The true story of this priceless piece mirrors the story that Hollywood has created for us. In the Amazon Original, The Goldfinch, a young boy and his mother are visiting the Met. During their visit, the museum is met with a deadly attack. In addition, the entire building is leveled and hundreds of paintings and artifacts are considered destroyed.

As the story follows the young boy, Theo, we quickly discover The Goldfinch survived the explosion. In shock, Theo carries the painting out of the rubble in a tote bag. Theo hides the masterpiece even as he moves across the US. Through a series of events, the painting later falls into the hands of the Russian mafia.

Whether you are drawn to this piece because of the history, the harrowing Hollywood glamour, or you’re an aesthete this painting has a captivating pull. If you enjoy the stories behind the painting, you can browse other fascinating finds in the Carel Fabritius gallery.

About the Author

Amanda studied Fine Arts as a Stone Scholar at Butler Community College and Integrated Marketing Communications with emphasis in Advertising and minored in Graphic Design.