The book examines the ways in which cinema -a form of mass culture- has represented fine art - a form of high culture. It provides detailed, critical analyses of selected European and American films dating from the 1930's to the 1990's which feature artists and architects as heroes and heroines. Walker considers questions as:
- How historically accurate are dramatized biographies of famous artists such as Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh and Camille Claudel?
- What do images of fictional artists and architects in the cinema tell us about popular conceptions of art?
- How have film-makers visualized the arts?