Tim’s Vermeer

The Music Lesson, Johannes Vermeer, camera obscura, optics, Tim's Vermeer, Tim Jenison

Watching the meticulous recreation of Vermeer’s painting, “The Music Lesson,” by inventor Tim Jenison practically gave me hand-cramps. And the result? I urge you to watch this documentary (trailer) produced  by Penn Gillette, Tim’s friend, and see for yourself. The saga started when Tim read how optics technology—lenses and the camera obscura—may have been used in producing some of the great works of 17th century art.

As an inventor, not an artist, Tim attempts to replicate such a method and comes up with, or rediscovers, inventions of his own. In the film, he interviews British artist David Hockney and architect Philip Steadman who believe optics help explain Vermeer’s genius, but warn Jenison the art historians and critics don’t want to hear it. Tim even persuades Buckingham Palace officials to let him see the original painting.

Fascinating character, process, and insights. You’ll go away appreciating the “fathomable genius” of Vermeer more than ever, guaranteed. Great links here.

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