Boy with Apple

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Boy with Apple
Boy with Apple.jpg
ArtistMichael Taylor
MediumOil on canvas

Boy with Apple is a 21st-century painting by British artist Michael Taylor. Painted on commission for use as a prop in Wes Anderson's 2014 film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, the fictional backstory written for Boy with Apple played a major role in the film's plot.

The portrait depicts a boy clad in Renaissance-style garb holding a green apple.[1] The model for the portrait was actor Ed Munro.[2]


Boy with Apple was painted by British artist Michael Taylor in 2012 for use in the then-upcoming film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Taylor was contacted by director Wes Anderson, who requested a faux Renaissance-era portrait that would evoke imagery from European art history.[3] Anderson actively added his own input to the work; specifically, he asked that the painting be made along the lines of works by Hans Holbein the Younger and Elder, Bronzino, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and a number of Flemish and Dutch painters.[4][5]

A similar amount of detail was given to the painting's backstory. In the film, the painting is attributed to the fictional "Johannes Van Hoytl the Younger" and is described as being of the "Czech mannerist, Habsburg high Renaissance, Budapest neo-humanist" style.[1] Due to the painting's role as a film prop, which required that Boy with Apple be carryable under an actor's arm, Taylor was forced to work on a smaller canvas than he was used to.[5]

Upon the release of The Grand Budapest Hotel, the painting was well-received.[1][5] Art critic Jonathan Jones of The Guardian wrote a full-length analysis of the portrait, stating "Boy with Apple really is priceless, as an art history in-joke."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Jones, Jonathan (2014-03-07). "Is The Grand Budapest Hotel's 'Boy with Apple' artwork plausible?". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  2. ^ "Michael Taylor's painting Boy with Apple to play a central role in Wes Anderson's new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. - Waterhouse & Dodd". Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  3. ^ Eakin, Marah. "Read This: Here's the story behind The Grand Budapest Hotel's "Boy With Apple"". News. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  4. ^ "Wes Anderson on the Painting at the Center of His 'Grand Budapest Hotel'". Observer. 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  5. ^ a b c "We Talked to the Painter Who Made 'Boy with Apple' for Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'". Vice. 2014-06-13. Retrieved 2018-08-26.