AccScience Publishing / AC / Volume 2 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/ac.2090

The dialogue between languages of painting and cinema in The Age of Innocence by Martin Scorsese

Maria V. Tarasova1*
Show Less
1 Department of Culture and Art History, School for the Humanities, Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Submitted: 23 October 2023 | Accepted: 2 January 2024 | Published: 2 May 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

After a short survey of the key theories that define the intermediality of film and the relationship between cinema and painting, the paper focuses on the case study of The Age of Innocence, a film by Martin Scorsese that exemplifies the transformations cinematic imagery may undergo under the influence of painting. Methodologically grounded in the linguistic theory of correlation between objective and subjective language systems, which cooperate in producing each utterance, the research approaches painting as a multifaceted objective language that cinema employs to reference specific worldviews or models of the world. Comprehension of the analogies between painting and film sheds light on how and why cultural patterns from other art are recreated in new media, and how the subjective language of the work of cinematic art is formed in relation to the objective languages of other visual arts. The results of the analysis reveal the film as an intertext with various genres and styles of European painting embedded into its visual language system. Specifically, the paper reveals how the Netherlands’ Golden Age portraiture, landscapes, and still-lives, together with several forms of the Impressionism and Art Nouveau styles, compose the objective language of the film. This research contributes new empirical ground to the theoretical studies of the interconnectedness of cinema and painting, providing a wider perspective on the universal language of visual art.

Painting and cinema
Language system of film
Martin Scorsese
The Age of Innocence
  1. Scorsese M. Hugo. UK/France: GK Films; 2011.


  1. Canudo R. The birth of a sixth art. In: Abel R, editor. French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology, 1907-1939. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 1993.


  1. Eisenstein S. The Film Sense. Boston: Harcourt; 1942.


  1. Pethó Á. Intermediality in film: A historiography of methodologies. Acta Univ Sapientiae Film Media Stud. 2010;2:39-72.


  1. Felleman S. Art in the Cinematic Imagination. Austin: University of Texas Press; 2006.


  1. Dalle Vacche A. Cinema and Painting: How Art is Used in Film. Austin: University of Texas Press; 1996.


  1. Peucker B. Tableau vivant in film: Intermediality and the real. In: Schröter J, Paech J, editors. Intermedialität: Analog/ Digital. Theorien, Methoden, Analysen. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink; 2008. p. 291-300. doi: 10.30965/9783846743744_021


  1. Peucker B. The Material Image: Art and the Real in Film. Redwood City: Stanford University Press; 2007. doi: 10.1515/9781503626072


  1. Leutrat JL. Qu’est que c’est que cette histoire? In: Bellour R, editor. Cinéma et Peinture-Approches. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France; 1990. p. 123-135.


  1. Costa A. Cinema e Pittura. Freeport, IL: Loescher; 1991.


  1. Felleman S. Real Objects in Unreal Situations: Modern Art in Fiction Films. Bristol: Intellect Ltd.; 2014.


  1. Dalle Vacche A, editor. The Visual Turn. Classical Film Theory and Art History. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press; 2003.


  1. Peucker B. Incorporating Images: Film and the Rival Arts. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 1995.


  1. Sager Eidt LM. Writing and Filming the Painting: Ekphrasis in Literature and Film. Amsterdam: Rodopi; 2008.


  1. Jost F. Le picto-film. In: Bellour R, editor. Cinéma et Peinture-Approches. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France; 1990. p. 109-122.


  1. Bonitzer P. Décadrages: Cinéma et Peinture. Paris: Editions de l’Etoile; 1985.


  1. Jameson F. The Geopolitical Aesthetic: Cinema and Space in the World System. Bloomington: Bloomington University Press; 1992.


  1. Aldouby H. Federico Fellini: Painting in Film, Painting on Film. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; 2013. doi: 10.3138/9781442669581-004


  1. Bakhtin M. Discourse in the novel. In: Holquist M, editor. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M.M. Bakhtin. Austin: University of Texas Press; 1981. p. 259-422.


  1. Pethó Á. The garden of intermedial delights: Cinematic ‘adaptations’ of bosch, from modernism to the postmedia age. Screen. 2014;55(4):471-489. doi: 10.1093/screen/hju036


  1. Bolter JD, Grusin R. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press; 2000.


  1. Spielmann Y. Intermedialität. Das System Peter Greenaway. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink Verlag; 1998.


  1. Paech J. Literatur und Film. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler Verlag; 1988.


  1. Bonfand A. Le Cinéma Saturé: Essai sur les Relations de la Peinture et des Images en Movement. Paris: Epiméthée, PUF; 2007. doi: 10.3366/film.2008.0020


  1. Wittgenstein L. Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd.; 1958.


  1. Pivovarov D. Operational aspect of the language structure. In: Problems of Logic and Methodology of Science. Moscow: Nauka Press; 1981. p. 246-256.


  1. Peirce CS. The Origins of Pragmatism: Logical Foundation of the Theory of Signs. Vol. 1 and 2. Davao City: Aletheia Press; 2000.


  1. Jakobson R. The Framework of Language. Michigan: Michigan Slavic Publications; 1980.


  1. Tarasova M, Zhukovsky V. Art Communication. Krasnoyarsk: SibFU Press; 2010.


  1. Zhukovsky V. Theory of Art. Davao City: Aletheia Press; 2010.


  1. Giralt GF. Andrei Tarkovsky’s adaptation of motifs embedded in leonardo da Vinci’s the adoration of the magi. Can J Film Stud. 2005;14(2):71-83. doi: 10.3138/cjfs.14.2.71


  1. MacGillivray J. Andrei Tarkovsky’s Madonna del Parto. Can J Film Stud. 2002;11(2):82-100. doi: 10.3138/cjfs.11.2.82


  1. Scorsese M. The Age of Innocence. United States: Columbia Pictures; 1993.


  1. Farca PA. Lacan Frames Scorsese’s paintings in the age of innocence. Am Br Can Stud J. 2014;23(1):40-59. doi: 10.1515/abcsj-2014-0026


  1. Hockenhull S. Picturing the frame: An aesthetic approach to film studies; Case study of «The age of innocence» (Scorsese 1993). In: Taban C, editor. Meta-and Inter-images in Contemporary Visual art and Culture. Leuven: Leuven University Press; 2013. p. 61-77.


  1. Peucker B. Rival arts? Filming the age of innocence. Edith Wharton Rev. 1996;13(1):19-22.


  1. Sammarcelli F. Of art, codes and transcoding: Revisiting intersemiotic conversations in the age of innocence by Edith Wharton (1920) and Martin Scorsese (1993). Edith Wharton Rev. 2020;36(2):125-147. doi: 10.5325/editwharrevi.36.2.0141


  1. Grimm C. In: Riehle J, Translator. Frans Hals: The Complete Work. New York: H.N. Abrams; 1990.


  1. Adams AJ. Public Faces and Private Identities in Seventeenth- Century Holland: Portraiture and the Production of Community. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2009. doi: 10.1086/655276


  1. Haak B. In: Willems-Treeman E, Translator. The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. New York: Waanders Publishers; 1984.


  1. Slive S, Rosenberg J. Dutch Painting 1600-1800. Pelican History of Art. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1995.


  1. Barnes DR, Rose PG. Matters of Taste: Food and Drink in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art and Life. Exhibition Catalog. Syracuse: Albany Institute of History and Art; 2002.


  1. Bergström I. In: Hedström C, Taylor G, Translators. Dutch Still-Life Painting in the Seventeenth Century. London: Faber & Faber; 1956.


  1. Bernt W. In: Falla PS, Translator. The Netherlandish Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Vol. 3. London: Phaidon Press; 1970.


  1. Aillaud G, Blankert A, Montias JM. Vermeer. Paris: Hazan; 1986.


  1. Tarasova M. The communication of the viewer with the work of art “the wine glass”. In: Vermeer J, editor. Advances in Contemporary Natural Science. Vol. 6. Bristol: IOPscience; 2004. p. 88-89.


  1. Moffett CS. The New Painting: Impressionism, 1874-1886. San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; 1986.


  1. Rewald J. The History of Impressionism. New York: Museum of Modern Art; 1973.


  1. House J. Impressionism: Paint and Politics. New Haven: Yale University Press; 2004.


  1. Christie I, Thompson D, editors. Scorsese on Scorsese. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2003.


  1. Duncan A. Art Nouveau, World of Art. New York: Thames and Hudson; 1994.


  1. Sembach KJ. Art Nouveau, Cologne: Taschen; 2007.


  1. Tarasova M. History of art in Western Europe in the late XIX - the beginning of the XX century. In: Zhukovsky V, Panteleeva I, Smolina M, Bakhova N, Mirkes M, Klykova A, et al., editor. History of Art. Krasnoyarsk: SibFU Press; 2008. p. 888-969.


  1. Tarasova, M. Ideals of art nouveau culture. In: Tarasova M, editor. Cinema and Painting: Dialogue in Art. Krasnoyarsk: SibFU Press; 2023. p. 138-145.


  1. Strachey J, editor. The Ego and the Id. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works by Sigmund Freud. New York: W.W. Norton; 1990.


  1. Khnopff F. Le Maître de L’enigme. Paris: Beaus Arts; 2018.
Conflict of interest
The author declares no competing interests.
Back to top
Arts & Communication, Electronic ISSN: 2972-4090 Published by AccScience Publishing