An end title flops up, telling us that Strickland may have been a great artist, but nothing can excuse the "ugliness" of his life. Phew, thank you Hays Code, you just saved me from jumping on the first tramp steamer to Polynesia.
Albert Lewin made a number of odd, infuriating, cack-handed but impassioned movies. The best of the ones I've seen is The Picture of Dorian Gray. This was the first. It aspires to be Citizen Kane but obviously isn't. At times its reliance on voice-over narration reduces it to an illustrated lecture. George Sanders is magnetic as Strickland.