December 11, 2014

Could Anyone Paint A Vermeer? -Tim's Vermeer


A new documentary centres on an inventor and his claims that Vermeer relied more on tricks and technology than artistic talent to create his famous works. Tom Brook reports.

Inventor Tim Jenison is the focus of the new documentary Tim’s Vermeer. His mission: to prove that a Vermeer masterpiece could be created by an amateur like himself.
In the film Tim Jenison uses technology to recreate the master’s painting The Music Lesson − it’s an experiment that could show that Vermeer relied on fancy tools rather than artistic genius.

The movie is a collaboration from magic act Penn (who narrates) and Teller (who directs). They raise interesting questions about Vermeer’s purported use of a camera obscura, lenses and mirrors – and what impact this has on our view of Vermeer’s artistic merit.
With thanks to The BBC

More information on the technology involved from Professor Philip Steadman:

From You Tube:                                                             
In 2001 Professor Philip Steadman (UCL Bartlett School of Graduate Studies and the UCL Energy Institute) published a book called Vermeer's Camera, about the evidence for the great seventeenth-century Dutch painter using a camera obscura to make his pictures. Fast forward 13 years and the original ideas in the book have provided the foundation for the BAFTA-nominated documentary Tim's Vermeer.

Further info:
Slides courtesy of Prof Steadman; footage courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing
Prof Steadman's website -
Trailer for Tim's Vermeer -

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Top picture credit:Gallery Intel

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