Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Seventeenth Century Photography

Interesting examination of Vermeer, and the technology he employed in the production of his great art. There is little doubt that he did, in fact, use the optical technology of his day to achieve the results in paintings such as The Music Lesson, the object of this particular documentary. One can even see evidence of chromatic aberration in Woman Reading a Letter (check out the back of her blouse).

In Tim's Vermeer, the inventor Tim Jenison goes through the arduous and painstaking task of first figuring out how Vermeer could have done his lifelike paintings with the aid of such technology (basically- a lens and two mirrors) and then sets about to actually paint its second coming (in 130 days) far better than anyone could have possibly imagined for someone who... had never before painted in his life.

Alas, I know nothing of painting, and despite the evidence (inarguable as it is), there is still far more to this artist and his art than mere smoke and mirrors (nor does the movie claim otherwise)...

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