Features | Tim’s Vermeer | Review

by Sarah Sutherland

In the seventeenth century, long before photography, artist JohannesVermeer, known for masterpieces such as ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earring’, created images that were said to be so close to reality in appearance that he must have ‘painted them with light’. Inspired by David Hockney’s theory that Vermeer must have used some sort of sophisticated optical instruments to produce this effect, inventor, visual technician and first-time oil painter Tim Jenison embarks on a quest to recreate Vermeer’s ‘The Music Lesson’.

A Penn and Teller production, this documentary will have you gasping in awe at not only the beauty and clarity of Vermeer’s work but at the time, effort and patience that Jenison puts into recreation of a masterpiece. Over a running time of 80 minutes and five years of a man’s life, we watch Tim Jenison obsess, struggle, build, paint, almost get carbon-monoxide poisoning, and paint some more – and it’s fascinating.

Tim’s Vermeer is an enthralling film that demonstrates that you don’t have to be the ‘creative type’ to create a work of art. It will transfix both Humanities and Science students alike, so I urge you to give it a watch!

Watch this movie and many more at the macrobert where student tickets are only £4.50.

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