Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tim's Vermeer

Tim's Vermeer is a wonderfully engaging documentary about Tim Jenison's quest to replicate a Vermeer painting, "The Music Lesson".

Jenison is a highly accomplished and successful inventor who became fascinated with understanding Vermeer's work. He developed a theory that he had to have been using a special kind of optical device to achieve such accuracy. He constructed such a device and began testing it. After consulting with art historians and writer's about Dutch master techniques, he became more certain that Vermeer used something very similar to his creation.

But he didn't stop there. He set about replicating the painting, and he did so with patient yet fanatic attention to detail. He recreated the room and costumes and props from "The Music Lesson". This was an enormous undertaking. Then he began the painstakingly slow and minute process of painting. The intricate details of the painting, such as the weft of the rug in the foreground, and the design on the surface of the instrument, were diligently rendered.

Tim's Vermeer is such a good documentary because Tim Jenison is such an obsessively dedicated man. It is a mesmerizing portrait of someone's intense fascination and dedication.

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