Ernst Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. Described by Woody Allen as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera," he is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential film directors of all time.
He directed over sixty films and documentaries for cinematic release and for television, most of which he also wrote. He also directed over one hundred and seventy plays. Among his company of actors were Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in the landscape of Sweden. His major subjects were death, illness, faith, betrayal, bleakness and insanity.
Bergman was active for more than six decades. In 1976, his career was seriously threatened as the result of a botched criminal investigation for alleged income tax evasion. Outraged, Bergman suspended a number of pending productions, closed his studios, and went into self-imposed exile in West Germany for eight years.
Commemoration of Albrecht Dürer, artist, 1528, and Michelangelo Buonarrotti, artist, spiritual writer, 1564 It is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord... In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God... Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.