Monday, July 7, 2014

Tim's Vermeer

Laura and I streamed a movie through Amazon Prime this weekend entitled "Tim's Vermeer."  It's the story of inventor Tim Jenison's attempt to re-create "The Music Lesson" by Johannes Vermeer by using a camera obscura optical device and strategically placed lenses and mirrors.  It's a brilliant film produced by Penn and Teller and narrated by Penn Gillette.  I immediately identified with Tim, especially since he's built his own pipe organ in his shop!  

I didn't know about the "Vermeer Controversy"  until this film.  Vermeer appears on the scene at the age of 21 with no provenance to speak of and begins producing images with photographic realism. 

Using "Vermirrors," inventions of his own, and relevant historical approaches, optical lenses, and hand-ground pigments for his paints, Tim explored how Vermeer might have created his paintings.  Tim traveled to sites around Europe to study original locations and paintings and to gain a better understanding of Vermeer's environment.  For five years Tim Jenison worked toward the goal of re-creating this masterpiece.  He's not an artist, not a painter, and approached this from an experimental

This is an excellent film and I highly recommend watching it when you feel like a brainy romp through art history.  You can find it here on Amazon

This picture shows a side-by-side comparison of Tim's Vermeer on the left and the original on the right.