Tim’s Vermeer

Next week, we’ll finish watching “Tim’s Vermeer” and discuss the implications of camera-obscura technology being used by a master painter of the Golden Age.  Do you think that these optics were possible during Vermeer’s time? How does the idea of using technology change the way you think about creativity, skill and artistry?

To test a theory that the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer used lenses, mirrors and other tools to create his masterpieces, inventor Tim Jenison sets out to re-create the method — and the paintings — in the dazzling documentary Tim's Vermeer</
Tim Jenison tests his theory that the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer used lenses, mirrors and other tools to create his masterpieces.

2 thoughts on “Tim’s Vermeer

  1. After watching Tim’s Vermeer I believe it is highly likely that the optics were used during Vermeer’s time but I think only a select few really knew about those optics. It’s easier to believe people had the patience to do such intense paintings in Vermeer’s time because technology wasn’t life consuming like it is now with television, social media, and cinema. If my generation lacked this advanced technology we would be spending just as much time with our passions as Vermeer did with his. I don’t think technology has necessarily hindered the way I think about creativity, skill, and artistry, if anything it has improved the art world, as far as time goes. We can put our thoughts and ideas out into the world in a shorter amount of time then in Vermeer’s time due to the advances in technology allowing better work flow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You mentioned a “select few” who really knew about Vermeer’s optics and I think that is a great point, Vicky! The film we watched tried to make the premise that Vermeer, and even Tim, are not “savants” or special geniuses for using readily found materials to do extraordinary things. But, access to that information is key. Elite education, the time and privilege to be able to create/obsess over a work begins to make it a specialized process.

    The great thing about digital culture is that is more accessible to people. It is very true that it can also distract us from focusing and thinking. But, that access to information can also lay the groundwork for more creative endeavors. Great ideas! 😀


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