Monday, January 13, 2014

The Vermeer Controversy

I found this article fascinating - mostly because I think Tim Jenison is awesome, and because Vermeer is one of my favorites.

There has been a controversy swirling for years about whether or not Vermeer used an aparatus called a ¨camera obscura¨ as an aid in his paintings, a theory proposed by artist David Hockney and an architecture professor named Philip Steadman.

So Tim Jenison became interested in the theory and set about proving if it could be done - and his process is now the subject of a documentary by Penn Jillette, of the magical duo Penn and Teller.

Jenison´s devotion to the issue is remarkable.  He spent 5 years in the R&D phase, travelling to Amsterdam and London to study the paintings, reading translations of latin texts on optics and art, figuring out a way of putting together the lens and mirror contraption, building an exact replica of the room that was the subject of his painting - The Music Lesson, making the lenses himself as well as grinding the pigments for the paints.  An inspiration.

Tim’s Vermeer - releasing in February.

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