Since Pliny the Elder’s Natural History (77–79 CE), art has been mythologized in cultural histories. Dealer Leo Castelli described his job as “myth-making of myth material.” 1 In Lives of the Artists (1550), Giorgio Vasari, inspired by Pliny, found artists’ eccentricities humorous, endearing, and constitutive of their myths. Modern biopics find them pathological, however. While idealizing beloved art works, these films nonetheless represent artists as abject figures—poverty-stricken, sexually unrestrained, alcoholic, drug addicted, money-squandering, paint-splattered, and abusive. In Vincent and Theo (1990), Vincent Van Gogh (Tim Roth) licks paint from his fingers, drinks turpentine, and bares decaying teeth; his brother Theo suffers syphilitic agony; and their sweaty lovers devour food ungraciously. Jackson Pollock (Ed Harris, Pollock, 2000) and Francis Bacon (Derek Jacobi, Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, 1998) appear on the toilet; Amedeo Modigliani (Andy Garcia, Modigliani, 2004) and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (José Ferrer, Moulin Rouge, 1952) die in their thirties; alcoholism and syphilis overtake them and several other artists. In these films such abjection must be accounted for and ultimately erased to validate the production by such 160artists of “great” works that represent the high culture proudly claimed by their respective societies and nations.