Tim's Vermeer

Tim's Vermeer

DVD - 2014 | Widescreen
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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: DVD 759.9492 TIM NVD
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (80 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in


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Apr 08, 2019

Surprising and fun. If you have even a passing interest in art and don't know the story, definitely worth seeing.

Dec 03, 2018

Wow. Kind of makes you realize how smart you’re not. When Tim Jennison need to go to Holland and he doesn’t know Dutch, he learns it. When he needs carpentry work done to recreate the room, he learns it. Jeez. When I need popcorn made I don’t grow it and shove it in a microwave bag. Persistent, astonishing, informative. Bravo.

May 23, 2018

It's harder for snobby art historians to refute the optical theory if brilliant amateur recreated Vermeer's studio & pigments or experiment could be recreated by anybody. So what if Vermeer's probable mind-blowing solution was a 17th century technological hack? So Vermeer demoted from unfathomable genius to fathomable genius.

May 01, 2018

“There's this modern idea that art and technology must never meet - you know, you go to school for technology or you go to school for art, but never for both... And in the Golden Age, they were one and the same person.” –Tim Jenison

In this fascinating documentary, inventor Tim Jenison set out to achieve what should have been impossible: recreate in perfect detail Johannes Vermeer’s masterpiece The Music Lesson, while simultaneously proving the Hockney-Falco hypothesis that Vermeer and other Renaissance artists used optical devices such as the camera obscura, to aide in their painting. A controversial theory amongst art historians, the thesis suggests great paintings can be created through technological means, independent of prior artistic skills and development.

Jenison, while a lover of art, had no prior painting experience. The film documents the painstaking lengths he takes to complete the experiment, going so far as to construct an entire set duplicating the room in the painting, including building the furniture and arranging individual props to achieve the same working environment as the original artist. This took a whopping 213 days to prepare before Jenison touched brush to canvas, and the painting itself took 130 days to complete to satisfaction.
Over the course of the film, the viewer will encounter several questions: Do science and technology cancel out creativity or do they fall hand in hand? What makes an artist an artist? What makes “art” art? In the end do the answers really matter?

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.

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