classified 12A

Please note: This was screened in June 2019

Charlie Paul
82 mins, 2019
Primary language

Heralded as "the first major film to reveal the motive and techniques behind each stroke of paint as the artist creates", this is a rare, intimate exploration of British artist Peter Howson's monumental, apocalyptic 6ft x 8ft oil painting Prophecy, from blank canvas to its subsequent sale.

Beginning from conception, the documentary follows former official Bosnian war artist Howson on a journey that showcases his dark sense of humour as well as his immense talent. We observe the canvas as it is made and mounted, and how he draws inspiration from world unrest, religious beliefs and mythology, drawing on the techniques of his heroes (from Goya, DaVinci and El Greco to Tin Tin!) in his Glasgow studio. From there we see the painting's journey through the commercial art world, across the Atlantic to New York for its first public exhibition, the sale and its final destination on the wall of a private collector.

A wonderfully crafted and imaginatively filmed insight into the mind and motives of a great artist, and the commitment it takes to make great art.