The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Tim's Vermeer

Bunny and I watched “Tim's Vermeer.”

In the documentary, Tim Jenison, wanted to paint a Vermeer, and he decided upon The Music Lesson. Now Tim is an engineer, an inventor and computer programmer. He is not an artist, and most certainly not a painter.

And he didn't just copy from the The Music Lesson painting. No, he recreated the entire room as it appears in the painting. He then mixed his own paints by hand—and by hand I mean “ground up the constiuent compounds and oils that made up paints in the 17th century.”

He then went on to grind his own lenses and mirrors, all to test a theory that Vermeer might have used some mechanical means of painting near-photorealistic paintings in the 17th century.

The results were spectacular! Tim, a non-artist, making a painting that rivals Vermeer himself.

It's worth watching to see the techique in action (the painting itself took about three to four months to do) and for the subtle visual clues that were found to exist in actual Vermeer paintings that show Vermeer might have used such a method.

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