Entertainment Magazine

Tim's Vermeer

By Xoxoxoe
Tim Jenison is a Renaissance man. An inventor, and engineer, he has a questing, questioning mind. Tim's Vermeer, a documentary film by Penn and Teller, follows Tim in his quest to understand how Vermeer made his paintings, and to prove his personal theory that he used optical devices to get his painterly effects. Teller directed the film and wrote it with Penn Jillette, who also produced and serves as the narrator.

tim's vermeer

"The Music Lesson, " Johannes Vermeer, 1662–1665, Oil on canvas, Royal Collection, St. James's Palace, London

Tim is not the first to write about or question Johannes Vermeer's techniques. Painter David Hockney famously wrote about it in his book Secret Knowledge, which started Tim on his quest. Teller takes Tim to England to meet the artist, and others as well, including architecture professor Philip Steadman, author of the book Vermeer's Camera, which suggests the camera obscura was behind Vermeer's precise brushwork.
It is fascinating to watch Tim try to rebuild a famous work of art from the inside out. He tries to recreate Vermeer's work by grinding authentic pigments, using real, not modern, electric, or artificial light, even building a room to recreate the "set" of Vermeer's "The Music Lesson." It is also gratifying to see him be awed by the painting in real life, after taking a trip to see it first-hand.

tim's vermeer

Tim at work in his studio

Art inspires, and Tim is inspired to return home and try to recreate the painting using all that he has learned. Tim is not trained as a painter, but he is eager to learn. During the process he starts to notice little details and anomalies which continue to reveal the skill of the original artist. Some of the same anomalies occur in his process, which leads him to believe he is on the right track with his technique.
When I was in art school, the first year in our Color and Design class we were tasked to recreate an Old master's famous painting. I chose Vermeer's "Woman with Pearl Necklace." It is probably the best class assignment I ever had. I learned so much, like Tim, trying to just recreate the color and light of that wonderful work of art. As Hockney states in Tim's Vermeer, a lot of the formulas for paintings of the past have been lost. It is a worthwhile endeavor to try to recapture them.

tim's vermeer

Woman with a Pearl Necklace, Johannes Vermeer, 1664, oil on canvas, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The Verdi Project: Rigoletto

    Verdi Project: Rigoletto

    In which our composer creates a sensation and changes the world of opera, forever. by Paul J. Pelkonen Tito Gobbi (with Renata Scotto) looking suitably... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Superconductor
  • the Ship is Sinking

    Mishpacha Magazine (Hebrew edition) has been running an initiative recently promoting new young couples in the Haredi community take on their own mortgages... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Gldmeier
  • Flower Power: Beyond the Beauty

    If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” – Lord Buddha. Life is a journey that is full of special moments; like... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Meet Rv
  • Dress To Impress! 5 Dresses For Your First Date

    Dress Impress! Dresses Your First Date

    Are you looking to make a great first impression on a new man when you show up for your first date with him? Are you conflicted as to how to dress, what... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Meet Rv


    In the Kilauea Iki Crater in Volcanoes National Park, HawaiiA week ago, on our trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, Art and I were hiking across what felt like a... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Carolinearnoldtravel
  • Congress Has Grilled Facebook CEO with Tough Questions Over Data Misuse

    Congress Grilled Facebook with Tough Questions Over Data Misuse

    Mark Zuckerberg has faced Serious Allegations on Facebook Data breaching Scandal in two days Congress testimony –as it happened. Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Ruby Mariah
  • Video of the Week: Anatomy of the Toes

    Video Week: Anatomy Toes

    In this lesson, we will look at the anatomy of the toes. I will also discuss how your toes move, what their functions are, and which kinds of common problems... Read more

    The 23 April 2018 by   Ninazolotow