Monday, October 1, 2012

CinemaScope Painting

Across the Brazos by the great American artist Robert McGinnis (born 1926). McGinnis did over 1200 paperback book covers and movie posters. Here is a good example how the newly invented CinemaScope format also influenced the formats of paintings.


  1. We rarely consider paperback book covers and movie posters as fine art, nor do most art historians examine how the CinemaScope format influenced the formats of paintings. What do you think the greatest influence was?

  2. Sounds correct, but we both know that todays kitsch maybe tomorrows art and vice versa. You would probably be surprised how many acknowledged late 19th century artists worked also as book illustrators, especially history paintings were popular to illustrate history books.
    Furthermore many works by once famous history painters were later bashfully hidden in the depots. I consider Robert McGinnis as good a craftsman as many of them. Sure the time of history painting had passed in his time. So the interesting thing is the view of history, the interpretation. And here you already mentioned that Boulanger for example painted a 19th century salon in a Pompeiian backdrop. Nearly all 19th century history painters did the same, they painted present subjects in historical costumes. And McGinnis does a bit the same, but to him history isn't the salon, it's Hollywood, CinemaScope. I think, he's therefore less pretentious, more honest, because he doesn't pretend to depict something real in a realistic way, he's showing a movie, a show. History painting always did this (and to me it's a kind of father to Hollywood) but it never admitted it.