Tim's Vermeer

Tim's Vermeer

Blu-ray Disc - 2014
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Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor, attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did seventeenth century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer manage to paint so photo-realistically, 150 years before the invention of photography? Spanning ten years, his adventure takes him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces, to the north coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney, and even to Buckingham Palace to see a Vermeer masterpiece in the collection of the Queen.
Publisher: Culver City, California : Sony Pictures Classics, [2014]
Edition: Widescreen
Branch Call Number: BluRay 759.9492 TIM NVD
Characteristics: 1 Blu-ray disc (80 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in


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A photographer is an artist. Vermeer is an artist and a clever technician. The 'Tim' in this documentary is an artist, a clever technician and a social archeologist. Great movie. I only wish he had a chance to compare his version of the Piano Lesson with the original.
Boo! Queen for not letting us see the original for a few seconds to compare the two.

Dec 21, 2016

If you like documentaries, this is well worth the watch. If the premise of the film is true, then Vermeer is merely a technician, not an artist.

Nov 13, 2016

A great documentary that is much more engaging than a first glance might imply. Tim's methodical thought process and sheer sticktoitiveness are truly admirable. Science truly meets art in this great documentary.

Very disappointed that SFPL has the case for the combo Blu-Ray + DVD edition...and only offers the DVD. This movie should be seen in >480 lines if possible. Find an HD streaming copy or an actual Blu-Ray copy if you have the player.

Nov 01, 2016

A well done documentary on an interesting concept with some unfortunate omissions.

I'm convinced that Vermeer used some sort of machine to help with his paintings as the movie suggests. If for no other reason than no one could possibly see that kind of detail from the distance Vermeer would have been away from the ornate objects/subject matter in his "sets" without some sort of help. Which is probably exactly why he chose such elaborate props--so he could "show off" this technique.

I wish they would have touched on how the machine would have been used to paint his outdoor scenes. Was Vermeer's perspective for anything outdoors always from the vantage point of looking out a window so the machine could have been set up indoors in private? If not, how did he do those?

Also, If these paintings took several months to paint, wouldn't the light not only change throughout the day but also be significantly different as time went by? Wouldn't this make for some obvious and awkward light discrepancies in Vermeer's paintings?

Sep 19, 2016

Astonishing film. I really wanted to like this film and it delivered. I like how the film makes a statement that there is an art to science and it delivers a revered masterpiece. I can now see how a savant like Tim Jenison could have correctly posited that there's something very different about Vermeer's approach to his master paintings. Indeed, Tim was right on the money, and all the evidence that he uncovers in the process seem to all point to his theory. There were two kinds of art going in the meantime and the end result will leave you astounded. This documentary doesn't at all diminish my appreciation for Vermeers, in fact it makes me appreciate him (and Tim) for how ingenious and forward-thinking he really was. It takes chutzpah and a sharp mental capacity to come up with something like this.

Apr 18, 2016

It has long been supposed that Vermeer (and other painters) used optics of some kind to help with perspective. This fascinating, witty documentary follows one inspired amateur's attempts to solve the riddle of how optics might have been used in some of the world's greatest masterpieces.

Jan 16, 2016

A fascinating documentary about an engineer who is extraordinarily determined to paint like Vermeer. The contraption he discovers/invents, and builds, ends up working. Lots of extras, including his painting log. Available in lots of languages too. Art lovers who are interested in the nitty-gritty of technique will really enjoy it.

Nov 27, 2015

Mr. Tim Jenison is a computer graphics businessman. He came up an idea that the famous fine artist Vermeer painted oil on canvas in fact using camera obscura; that is why Vermeer's painting looked so real like a photo while camera was invented 150 years thereafter. Mr. Jenison spent many years to prove his idea & made a well-recorded documentary. This documentary is entertaining & very informative. Should not only encourage adults to watch this documentary but also teenagers. A side bonus is that this documentary proves that to become a fine artist one needs to be able to work alone for a long period of time.

Oct 12, 2015

The cover of this film shows a BlueRay version, but what the Library lends out is a DVD version.

Jul 17, 2015

Tim Jenison states very clearly that he was not trying to counterfeit a Vermeer painting with its characteristic brush strokes. What he does do quite effectively, however, is go beyond the speculations of experts to discover and demonstrate how anyone with extraordinary patience can achieve the same results by mechanical means without any artistic ability necessary. To prove his point, he recreates one of the more famous Vermeer paintings and discovers a few intriguing things along the way. I found it fascinating and well explained.

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