Claude Monet, the French Impressionist painter born in Paris in 1840, is the subject of an exhibition at the Heritage Museum in Sha Tin that will last until July 11. A perfectionist, if he wasn’t satisfied with how a painting was turning out, he would simply paint over it. Monet suffered from cataracts, which, scientists claim, account for his distinctive blurry style. The 2004 documentary Monet’s Palate: A Gastronomic View from the Gardens of Giverny examined the connection between fine art and fine cuisine, and was narrated by Meryl Streep …

The American actress received her first Oscar in 1980, for a supporting role in Kramer vs Kramer, and was so happy about the win, she left the golden statue in a toilet during the ceremony. Having nailed a variety of accents – Bronx, Polish, Irish, Australian, Yiddish – one of her biggest challenges came when she had to learn to play the violin for the lead role in Music of the Heart (1999). Streep has also impressed on Broadway, not least in 1977, when she took on the role of Dunyasha in The Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov …

The Russian playwright and story writer is considered one of the greatest creators of short fiction in history. In 1890, Chekhov undertook an arduous journey by train, horse-drawn carriage and river steamer to the Russian Far East and the katorga, or penal colony, on Sakhalin Island, north of Japan, where he spent three months interviewing thousands of convicts and settlers for a census. Chekhov’s writing on Sakhalin is the subject of brief comment and analysis in the novel 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami …

The contemporary Japanese writer has had his works translated into 50 languages. In an essay in 1989, he stated that he had had more than 10 cats over the years, one of which was called Kirin (named after the Chinese unicorn, not the Japanese beer). He used to be a mahjong addict, he has said, but has never been a good player. In 1998, the German film Der Eisbar (“polar bear”) used elements of Murakami’s The Second Bakery Attack in three intersecting storylines. The short story also became a short film, in 2010, starring Kirsten Dunst …

The American actress landed her first acting gig when she was three years old, as a model in a television commercial, and was given her first kiss – on or off the screen – when she was 11, when Brad Pitt landed one during the filming of Interview with the Vampire. While most girls would love this claim to fame, Dunst said it “was disgusting”. In 2011, she was cast in the Beastie Boys’ star-studded short film, Fight for Your Right Revisited, alongside Stanley Tucci …

Having starred alongside Streep in Julie & Julia (2009), the Italian-American actor, writer, producer and film director can add cook to the list of his things “I can do” – in 2012, he released The Tucci Cookbook. But something he’d perhaps like to forget is his role in a rare Coen brothers flop, Gambit (2012), which is about an art curator who seeks revenge on his abusive boss by conning him into buying a fake Claude Monet.