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Vermeer: Master of Light (COMPLETE Documentary) [No Ads]

Vermeer: Master of Light (COMPLETE Documentary) [No Ads]


((Subtitles are complete but in process of being edited to be more readable – punctuation, keeping sentences whole, etc. – September 23rd, 2017)) Johannes Vermeer was a painter of light.
He lived and worked in Delft in the heart of the Netherlands but little else
is known about this artist. Names of his masters, the nature of his training, the
period of his apprenticeship all remain mysteries. He left
no letters, sketches or drawings. We know only of his genius. His paintings
have intrigued and fascinated viewers for centuries. The themes he chose to
paint were those he encountered in daily life: a girl reading a letter in the
center of a sunlit room, a figure at work, a woman pouring milk, a girl in a red hat her lips parted her
eyes lit with expectation looking at us. What is it that draws us in? Is it the
poetry and power of the images? The use of reflected light? The saturation of color the softness and yet brilliance of the image?
Or the sense of timelessness? It’s mystery and meaning the celebration of
ordinary tasks and daily life filled with quiet contemplation the frozen
moment in time. Its intimacy and mood: a room filled with inner thoughts. Or is it simply the virtuosity of an
extraordinary craftsman? What is it that makes a Vermeer a
Vermeer? There’s a greater sense of light I think
in Vermeer’s painting than there is in anybody else’s and the light bathes as a
room it lights on the figures the figures seemed to glow that some of them
seem to have a light OMERS within themselves and there is this brilliant
brilliant use of light that nearly always comes through a window which is
on one side of the scene when the fascinating things I noticed is that you
never see the outside you never see a tree through the window you only see the
light coming through but it is this light that is incredible his use of this
light playing on the various textures that he wants to portray which have all
the different meanings the supreme quality of Vermeer’s light is it is the
daylight effect the clear daylight effect is extraordinary
daylight permeates his shadows and you see that so beautifully in the milkmaid
as you look into that corner of the room where there is a wonderful still life of
some kitchen implements a brass pot and a wicker basket you’re seeing the whole
thing but you know it is in shadow and one of the most beautiful things in the
pictures of wall and back over and the gradations of light were the intense
light on the right side of the picture and those gradations go from the most
intense light to a darker light but the shadows are transparent there’s always
this clarity form the forms are never lost there’s another thing that’s
exciting about this picture it begins I have a kind of pointillism
and if you look down at the loaves of bread you have those solid forms but in
them here’s the touches of light he’s broken his forms with these little
points of light and he uses that so effectively and he use it beautifully in
the view of Delft those boats which are in the lower right hand corner there
those little little touches of light which means that the light bounces
on to these dark forms and its wondrous to behold the woman the balance is one
of those supreme examples of Vermeer is an artist’s light coming in through the
window is gently luminous the whole interior it’s a sort of a soft deep rich
light but it’s wonderful to watch it happens wonderful to watch it evolve and
Vermeer’s gives you the sense of light spilling across the interior of that
space it passes by that orange curtain you can see how the light goes from
behind that curtain hits the wall directly the gray of the wall and then
it passes through the thickest part of the curtain and it’s a deep dark shadow
at that point and then as it hits the edge of the curtain it creates a golden
globe that links together the gray of the wall and the deepest part of the
shadow as it comes into the room and then the light passes down illuminating
the table then the gold and the pearls on the table come across caught by the
edge of the table and then your eye is drawn by your hand as it rests on the
table and you’re brought back up to see her face it’s wonderful quiet gentle
face with her downcast eyes as she looks down at the balances she holds him a
hand light draws you in and encompass the full scope of the painting harnessing light is central to the power
of Vermeer he transformed paint into light in the most brilliant and
mesmerizing way you he seduces us very quickly
Vermeer does there’s a magical quality to his work beautiful it’s simple but
that’s very deceptive he’s concentrating all the time he adjusts reality if you
look at the art of painting as an artist in an easel we seem from the back and
he’s painting a woman and she really represents history and there’s a map in
the background and the foreground is set so beautifully with a great carpet and
the wonderful chandelier all those details are ravishing but where is the
right leg of the easel if you follow it down you see the top of it and you come
down and you see the artist is seated on a stool and his foot is forward but
there’s no length of easel so where is that leg if you look in that area where
his leg is forward and there are the two legs of a stool if the leg of the easel
came down there it would come found that whole area so he’s either hidden it
behind those two legs of the stool or he’s eliminated completely and if
there’s ever proof that Vermeer is not an ape of nature he he just doesn’t
paint what he sees he makes adjustments his pictures are so calculated carefully
you don’t see the calculation but I assure you he has calculated his effects
he’s concentrated there’s tremendous intelligence at work your artistic
intelligence Mamiya designs his paintings so brilliantly so carefully
that every part of the painting every drop of paint every line every nuance of
color has a deliberate meaning the meaning and the composition and meaning
in the power every part of the story whatever it is
everything has a meaning one of the most wonderful examples is the woman in blue
reading a letter it’s a single figure who’s standing in the corner of a room
and she’s holding this letter and you can see the kind of emotional intensity
of her experience because just what she clasped her arms by her side but Vermeer
locks that gesture into space by placing those hands right over the very strong
horizontal bar that’s the bottom of the map that hangs on a wall behind her so
this horizontal bar at the bottom creates this tense concentration on
those hands so the result is that you feel nothing can move light also enters
into this equation while there are all these beautiful shadows and subtle
shadow effects throughout the painting she casts no shadow by not casting a
shadow he somehow separates her out from time this sends a passage of time that
one senses with shadows the moving of shadows doesn’t exist with her so it
enhances that a whole sense of permanence it’s very hard with Vermeer
to separate one thing from another because they’re also into woven
interlocked in the woman holding a balance another
example it looks as though she will never move
it’s in large part created by the gesture of the hand holding the balance
because that hand is locked in space by being juxtaposed over the vertical and
horizontal elements of the frame the little finger is extended horizontally
it just holds that hand in space and then for me reinforces that visual
juxtaposition with a perspective if you’ll follow the perspective lines go
right back to that finger that extended finger the perspective of the table of
the mirror on the wall in front of her all we see the tooth at one point so
that vanishing point reinforces the importance of that gesture and it’s very
interesting infamy all the way through is clear to see how we uses perspective
he places the vanishing point because the vanishing point tells us where he
wants the eye to go an explanation of everything making having a really
serious part of the composition he’s in the woman with the balance when I first
examined that painting before the cleaning the frame of the Last Judgement
lying behind the woman was entirely black in the X radiograph you could see
the frame on the right side of the painting behind the woman’s head had two
light lines coming down these light lines show there was a density there a
dense material which could have been white LED or led to in yellow
further examination showed that this frame had been over painted by somebody
not by Vermeer very much later and that two gold lines actually they were bright
yellow had been painted out and painted with a dark grey when that over paint
was removed if the composition came to life because you got on the right hand
side the two gold lines you got on the left-hand side the light coming in and
the gold yellow curtain and the right in the center is the gold little bit of her
dress and there are these three very very important points creating the
strength of this composition with her holding the balance without the gold
lines of the frame behind the composition was just failing it just
didn’t have the tension and the meaning that it now has and that is a very good
example of how every little thing in Vermeer’s every little point every
little mark has a meaning and has a purpose nothing is left to chance Vermeer’s masterwork the music lesson
clearly shows that nothing is left to chance on the far side of a sunlit room
a woman stands playing a virginal a man in elegant dress watches her and listens
intently both figures are quiet as though the music were measured and
restrained this is one of the most refined of Vermeer’s works he carefully
calculated every aspect of its composition the figures the musical
instruments the mirror table tile patches and chairs
however realistically presented are conceived as interlocking patterns of
color and shape ramírez placement of the vanishing
point creates a dynamic and clear focus it falls on the sunlit sleeve of the
woman a halo of reflected light in color emphasizes its importance we can
actually see the hole in the canvas left by the pin Vermeer used to construct the
perspective of the painting the power of this work grows out of Vermeer’s use of
linear perspective the sharply receding wall on the left
coupled with the pronounced orthogonals of the window frame leads the eye
quickly to the woman she becomes the fulcrum around which the painting
revolves Vermeer further compresses the space by filling the right side of the
scene with a large tapestry covered table the angle of its receding edge
transports us quickly back to the vanishing point the floor also plays a
significant role in the perspective construction its strong diagonal pattern
leads us directly to the woman the interlocking series of rectangular
shapes surrounding the woman adds visual emphasis to her importance Vermeer
creates a strong vertical focus by placing the mirror directly above the
lid of the virginal so that the bottom edge of its frame is overlapped by the
top edge of the lid by including the woman’s reflection in the mirror he
underscores her significance within the painting the placement of the man and
his relationship to the woman was of concern to Vermeer infrared analysis
reveals that he first painted the man further forward and leaning more toward
the woman she likewise had a more active stance her head twisted back in his
direction Vermeer subsequently altered the figures
the woman now stands directly facing the virginal scene from behind her face is
hidden from the viewer but her image in the mirror was left as originally
painted he moved the man slightly placing him in a more upright position
these adjustments were subtle but crucial Vermeer transformed the figures
from active poses to statuesque ones emphasizing the permanence of their
relationship the effect brings them into harmony with the carefully ordered space
Vermeer uses color to strengthen the focus the yellow white of the woman’s
blouse the golden color of the virginal and matching reflected light on the back
wall highlight the figures the red of the woman’s skirt and Vermeer’s
selective use of black on the mirror the virginal the clothing of the two figures
and the pattern of the floor help lock our eye into place
the combination of overall contrasting colors patterns and shapes create major
and minor accents focused on the theme of the painting Vermeer preserves the
privacy of the couple by creating an intimate space through the arrangement
of objects on the right the strategic placement of the chairs and the bass
viola on the floor locked the couple into the background protecting their
private communication and separating them from us the forward position of the
table and the placement of the painting on the back wall reinforce their
intimate space by placing a chair directly between the table and the
vanishing point Vermeer interrupts the perspective line
slowing down our immediate access to the couple we are outside looking in the white elegantly proportioned pitcher
sitting on the table is central to the composition of painting its form echoes
the curve of the gentleman’s arm and it’s color helps to link the foreground
to the background the purity of this form gives it an almost sacramental
character symbolically reinforcing the theme of comfort and harmony provided by
love the mirror is one of Vermeer’s primary creative tools using the mirror
Vermeer allows us to look down on the woman a carpeted table and the tiled
floor of the room the sensitivity with which he has rendered the reflection is
remarkable he set it back into the mirror rather than placing it on the
surface by painting the forms softer and smaller and by depicting the distorted
reflections along the mirrors beveled edge Vermeer uses the mirror to give us
another viewpoint of the woman revealing her most inner thoughts by leaving the
woman’s original position in the mirror gazing at the man he suspends that
psychological moment forever it is this poetic image in the mirror
that draws us emotionally into the heart of the painting
premier manipulated the angle of the mirror for that purpose here we see the
tilt of the mirror as he painted it but in order to actually see the scene the
mirror reflects it would have to be drastically tilted by more than 30
degrees Vermeer manipulated reality to intensify
the psychological power of the painting understanding the potential of light is
a primary aspect of Vermeer’s genius here we see the room as it most likely
would have been lit given the clues the painting provides Vermeer then
selectively manipulates the light to strengthen the focus he eliminated the
shadows that should exist on the back wall to create an evenly illuminated
white surface providing a backdrop to emphasize the silhouettes of the figures
while Vermeer drastically reduced the shadow at the top of the virginal to
allow the upper wall to be gently bathed in light
he darkened the shadow at the base of the window and distorted its angle on
the wall these two divergent shadows hold the virginal in place the upper
shadow leading the eye to the corner of the lid and the lower shadow drawing our
eye to where the leg meets the floor Vermeer manipulated the shadows beneath
the virginal by placing them closer to each other than they would really be
giving them greater substance and emphasizing the silhouetted shapes of
the legs he eliminated the shadow of the
virginals body against the rear wall in order to reinforce this effect Vermeer
completes this masterpiece by inserting his own presence showing the reflection
of his easel in the top of the mirror he reminds us that the artist is clearly
present and in complete control he is the master of what we see the little
Street is one incredible painting it’s really the one I would most like to have
at home is one of these paintings that somehow brings you back to your
childhood makes you remember what it was like to be a kid to look out across the
way and see life going on just like it always had gone on you’d see the woman
sitting there doing a little thing you see the kids playing on the street you
see the little maid in the back they’ve been there time after time after time
you know something very comforting about this world
it’s a very contained world it’s a few of a street but you its what’s
interesting is you don’t feel like you need to go left or right you’re very
happy right there you’re very happy you don’t want to go
anyplace else from here somehow has created a sense of a street and you
don’t want to walk down it you just want to stay and look at this little world
that he’s given you and one of the magical things one of the reasons that
that happens is because of that red shutter that red shutter says stop that
red shadow says you’ve gone far enough you don’t have to go any further so that
red shutter is really important to blocking limiting the giving that sense
of comfort in that world he’s created to the left of the door you see that
there’s not nearly enough space for the shutters on the two windows to the left
to completely open so Vermeer has actually adjust to the architecture of
the building widen the space between the window on the far right
and the door to allow that shutter to open flat because he needed that red
there he knew he needed that red flat against the wall in order to complete
that composition so there is a wonderful example of color being used for
compositional purposes he’s a colorist from the word go from the very beginning
is a great colorist and what changes in its color is from a warm tonality from
reds and yellows to the yellow and blue to the cool and then the silvery quality
of his light and I don’t think he divorced the light from the color it’s
all of a piece he can get the sheen and the texture in a magical way Vermeer
does this repaint satin it really looks like Santa crisp you can almost hear it
in a pile of a rug or the bread the crustiness of a bread the color is doing
that or the water and a view of Delft the viscous water the fabric or the
color of the of the clouds and mind you that fault in the view of Delft that sky
is just unbelievable you know you say that Vermeer copies nature and sense
those clouds he organized those clouds clouds aren’t that way clouds don’t
stand still for landscape painter he has to figure out how am I going to arrange
them and he keep some horizontal so his sense of the great vault and then of the
heavens and it goes back to the horizon and he’s doing that always color his
color is intense he can use one color next door to door to another with the
most brilliant intensity there’s a great example in the girl with a red hat where
she is wearing this beautiful blue costume and the highlights
instead of being lighter blue which is what you would expect a yellow which is
opposite to blue and therefore creates this shimmer and this
is this nobody else does this it is absolutely extraordinary and that
painting is a brilliant display of color she’s sitting against this rich woven
tapestry marvellous interweaving at these shapes all of which are
brilliantly placed not one has a little thing out of place they all play a part
in getting this fabulous sense of this moment of this girl turning towards you
catching the light on her face and in her hat and it’s a brilliant brilliant
piece of observation and translation of that into this painting when you’re able
to hold the girl the red hat in your hands that is a very special feeling and
in doing that you really sense the artist at work there’s a whole different
relationship that you have at that time little things that are hard to pick up
in the gallery for example for Mary gives this radiance of her vision with a
little turquoise highlight that he puts in your eye and this wonderful pink
highlight in the mouth it’s little accents like that that just make it come
alive and have this kind of vivid quality Vermeer works in glazes very
thin glazes and the Blues particular are very thinly painted he uses natural
ultramarine which is a wonderful pure pigment he prepared that area of the the
blue robe with a reddish-brown under painting and that gives a certain warmth
to the blue so when he paints it very thinly you have this warm glow that
comes to the background so it’s not just a cool blue it has this inner WAMP that
ties it in to the red of the Hat and the orange of the cheeks and sort of the
whole humanity of the image comes across through that means and he uses his
material and his techniques to enhance the the emotional and psychological
qualities of his work the girl with the red hat is a sensuous
painting it is intimate and immediate she communicates directly with us for
Muir’s use of colour drives the emotional power of this painting he sets
the figure against the muted tones of a tapestry concentrating colour on the
flame red of her hat and the lushness of her blue robe ramier established an ochre base for the
background of the painting the soft tones of the tapestry elegantly emerge
from that color the Lionhead finials defined the
foreground and placed the figure in space quick strong strokes suggest the
basic contours and structure of the heads using reddish-brown color for the base
of the robe ramier covered it with deep blue to establish its form the brown
bleeds through and the combination of colors creates an extraordinary sense of
warmth he applied a delicate blue glaze to define the folds of the fabric his
use of thinly painted glazes creates depth and the addition of ice blue
highlights provides a shimmering quality The face is established first in shadow. Vermeer used an opaque deep red orange
paint as the underground for the Hat. The red is an intensely warm and active
color. It heightens the immediacy of the girls gaze. A succession of
semi-transparent strokes of light red and orange creates the feathery
appearance of the Hat. Vermeer demonstrates his sensitivity to
the effects of reflected light by placing a dark purple hue on the
underside of the Hat. He subtly casts an orange-red reflection
across the girl’s face to accentuate the effect the red has on the viewer He then
uses green, the complementary color of red, to create the shadows on the face
enhancing both colors Vermeer paints the cravat in a brilliant white after laying
the white down he scraped away some of the paint to create definition the white
in the center of the composition cradles the face and focuses attention on her
expression Vermeer draws upon the power of light to increase the intensity of
the color and to animate the painting adding soft and shimmering highlights
that crystallized the form of the finials
yellow highlights to enhance the blue of the robe and accentuate the quality of
its color delicate strokes finishing the texture and lushness of her hat and
highlights on the earring nose and lips to bring the face to life his crowning
touches are the placement of the pink on her lips
the turquoise in her eye Vermeer’s extraordinary use of color
encourages a dialogue between the viewer and the girl and enhances the sense of
poetry that flows throughout his paintings Oh you premier was trying to emulate effects
that he would have seen an optical device called a camera obscura some of
those qualities of this immediacy of looking out of this more momentary
character of this painting may and in fact be partially explained by the
inspiration of the camera obscura I did really paint from a camera obscura he
certainly didn’t copy the camera obscura but it was a way of seeing was way
enriching the way he saw that he then would apply and create and adapt in
paintings such as this camera obscura means darkened chamber
its images were seen as magical in the 17th century often described as nature’s
paintings it’s process is simple when the camera faces an image on the outside
rays of light enter into the darkened chamber through a convex lens on the
front of the box projecting an inverted and reversed image on the surface of the
glass viewing window at the back of the camera the image contains optical
effects such as diffused or soft highlights this is an actual
black-and-white image of a lion head finial as seen through a camera obscura
the impact of this optical effect can clearly be seen when we place it next to
Vermeer’s painted finial and the girl with the red hat those finials are a
marvelous example of what you will see from a camera obscura they’re slightly
out of focus in a way and yet he’s managed that light on them in the most
brilliant way the highlights are made by building up layers of paint starting
with an opaque layer then building translucent layers one on top of another
and finishing with little spots of bright white light and those spots
bright white light are intense and in fact they remind me of the pearls that
you see absorbed in infamy as paintings where he does exactly the same thing
where he puts this circle of translucent white paint grayish white paint to
create the roundness of the pearl than this little blob of white paint in the
center which creates the light is exactly the same way that he paints the
finials is it’s quite extraordinary I think the most magical moment perhaps
that all of Vermeer’s work is in the lacemaker
what a wonderful painting and you have this woman this intent woman who’s busy
with her activity of lace making in the foreground you have this thread spilling
out of this cushion totally diffuse I mean you cannot make out what these are
this incredible unfocused quality of these threads it’s amazing and that is
such a wonderful example of what one would see in a camera focused closely on
an individual you focus the image on the face of the individual and the
foreground then gets entirely out of focus with Vermeer there’s this
marvelous softness where outlines are soft every layer flows into one another
so you get this fabulous sense this poetic sense of light and movement
whether it be on a tabletop whether it be on a ball whether it be on a person’s
face everything is very very soft and flowing from one layer into another
there are no hard edges to look out of a mirror through a microscope is an
extraordinary experience because you see all this flowing all these soft soft
edges you wonder whether you’re looking at the edge of the finger or something
else when you’re looking at a woman’s hand so soft are they and he achieved
this by painting wet in wet now this is very simple he would put down one layer
let’s say over Paik paint while it was still wet he would put another layer on
top and because the underlying layer was still wet they would meld together
soften together the edges would just blur a little bit and there would be
this flowing of these edges so if you have a number of layers one on top of
the other doing this this is creating this extraordinary sense of atmosphere
in diffusion of light this marvelous feeling of the form without having to
describe every little fine detail and a very good example of this is the little
Street and Delft the house which has this facade of a brick wall where if you
look at it you think that every little brick is being painted very distinctly
absolutely not when you look at it it’s a texture which gives you the sense of
all this brickwork not every little brick and so he’s creating this movement
throughout the whole surface of the painting by this technique of painting
wet-in-wet it’s quite ingenious there’s illusion of
texture in Vermeer’s work the most extraordinary textural effects are
probably in the view of Delft and I think the view of Delft is really
amazing because there’s a view of this city seen from across the waterway and
across the harbor and yet it seems so immediate so real there’s something so
intense about that view that it just comes out at you and it’s color with its
light but it’s really texture that is at the core that and any does lots of
different things to create this effect in this painting one of the amazing
things if you look at the roof lines the different types of roofs
the orange tile roofs on the left for example have a kind of a bumpy character
that he creates by having a sand layer mixed with LED white underneath the
paint so it’s a lumpy base specific to that area so he very consciously wanted
to create the effect of texture three dimensionally and then he puts on it the
orange and little highlights on top of little little dots on top of it then
when it comes to the boats this wonderful feeling of light flickering
off the water onto the sides of the boats that he does without any
three-dimensional texture but with all his handling of paint with these various
diffused layers these little circles these diffuse highlights and then the
opaque highlights on top of very interweaving of thin and thick and then
thick it’s different in different parts of the painting but it’s all to serve a
certain effect it’s really interesting the
photographing for me because everything always seems out of focus it’s one of
these changes things and even restorers have been bothered by this and this
painting alone writing letters is a wonderful example where when we brought
it into restoration the arm was in fact quite precise and definition and we
discovered that in fact the restorer had made a contour line along that arms to
make it defined in space sort of losing the whole quality of life that Vermeer
is creating that is so unlike Philly and Vermeer did not create hard edges they
were all soft and this repaint was quite clearly much later than Vermeer and
having established that this paint was false it was removed very easily with no
damage to the underlying and there you see this typical lovely soft edge to her
arm as she leans rather she caresses the table in the same way that she’s
caressing letters the letter which she’s writing is the most intimate quiet
painting in fact I think it’s the most quiet soulful of all of his paintings
it’s as far as I’m concerned part of the magic infirmary’s to create
more than he then he actually is put down it could be the sense of more there
than there is and that happens a lot with color and color he uses colors so
selectively and you feel this wonderful yellow of her jacket but when you look
at it carefully you see and in fact that there’s very little yellow there it’s
only in those highlights where the light is hitting the form that he’s actually
using the lead tin yellow to give that focus for the rest it’s really done an
okras it’s very subtle very understated and this is something that he does
throughout his career it’s it’s this suggestion of form suggestion of color
suggestion of space done with the most minimum means suggestion of narrative
suggestion of emotional energy the feeling of mood is is just the hints
of these things so what happens then is that we complete them
he leaves lots of room for us to enter into these things and for us to become
part of the whole experience to create it to fulfill it to finish it in our own
individual ways Vermeer is a man of great dignity and we see it in in his
mature works in a beautiful way the servants are as dignified as the
mistress of the household and the milkmaid is to me a masterwork and it’s
a serving woman that he’s representing there is that the dignity of humankind
because it doesn’t embrace all of him but it’s the dignity of women I love it
and I love women but there is this wonderful sense of his love of women
which comes through on every occasion none of his women are hard none of them
are angry in any way they’re all concerned with fairly deadly occupation
very gentle very warm occupations that he seemed to enjoy to me one of the most
moving pictures most poetic pictures by Vermeer is a painting in Berlin of a
woman putting on a necklace in that gesture of a woman doing nothing but
just about to clasp the pearl necklace that’s something no writer can know if
you know you can only see a woman put on a necklace but to have captured that
moment at me it’s one of those beautiful things that Vermeer ever created it’s
the life of women that he’s painting men don’t come in very often but women
reading a letter we’ve been writing a letter woman delivering a letter this
quiet existence of women that’s much of the poetry of Vermeer what makes a Vermeer Vermeer that’s a
very difficult question I’ve been worrying about that question for about
60 years for me it is that extraordinary quality
that he has of inviting you in and keeping you away that an enigmatic
feeling that he creates he is telling you a story and yet there’s almost like
a veil between you and the painting there is not an immediacy between you
and the painting although you’re fooled into thinking there is one something so
personal about a Vermeer painting it’s one of these kinds of images that you
really want to see all by yourself you don’t want to be interrupted you don’t
want to hear noises around you oh you can’t put it into words really just as
you when you see a great baseball player whose forms fabulous what makes them so
great or there’s great cook and you have a great meal what makes it so great well
you can talk a bit about it but there’s always something you can’t put into
words he raises these scenes of life into something that is very very special
how come that our milk may just pouring milk into a jug can produce this moment
of magic on a canvas this extraordinary sense of light and moment in which you
feel there’s so much depth there is so much more than just this simple domestic
act and he raises up these these pictures into this into this ethereal
level which is very hard for us to comprehend comprehend and he really is a
genius at making these seems quite magical in
quite mysterious at the same time it’s so universal something about that image
that is meaningful to all of humanity there’s truths the underlying truth if
they’re fundamental truths about human existence they’re our sense of harmony
of life relationship of man and nature the joy of life the sense of of
possibility in such an understated and subtle way
that’s you just come back to it over and over
again and just feel enriched by the experience. What makes a Vermeer of Vermeer? Perhaps there is no single answer but rather it is a combination of answers which is different for each and every one of us. This is at the very heart of what seeing
is all about.

100 thoughts on “Vermeer: Master of Light (COMPLETE Documentary) [No Ads]

  1. If Vermeer relied on lenses, then why did he put pins in his paintings to attach lines to check perspective? Vermeer was too "artistic" in his choices to be reliant on a lens. He took too many artistic licenses to simply be painting a projection. The argument that he might have used a lens to articulate some technical impossibility is irrelevant.

  2. Reading a lot of comments here,
    it seems that calling someone like Vermeer a 'genius' doesn't fit the marxist cultural approche.
    Well : VERMEER WAS AND STILL IS
    A GENIUS.
    deal with it.

    What a fantastic documentary this is.
    A work of art in itself.
    Thank you !

  3. These art critic idiots who think using a lens somehow does the picture for you are simply that – uninformed idiots. If you doubt what I say try it yourself. You will quickly find that a lens just gives you accurate proportions quicker than free hand – that's all. IT DOES NOT DO THE PAINTING. It doesn't do any shading or brushwork or line work. It doesn't choose and mix colours. Artists have been using technical aids for millennia and jealous amateurs have been critiquing them for it for just as long.

  4. Vermeer was in touch with his "feminine" sensibilities. Critics may attempt to logistically explain intent in terms of technique, but without his internal understanding of self, he would not have been able to project

  5. What an amazing privilege to see such an incredible documentary into the extraordinary talent of another great master painter. I'm amazed that he captured such moments without a camera. Maybe we are cursed with technology in the sense that it totally crippled our potential creative spirit.

  6. Actually, I like this kind of documentation, but these experts exaggerate, in my opinion, a little in their analysis. (18:48 f.e.) They like to hear themselves talking and Meryl Streep almost falls asleep while she speaks.

  7. Only LOVE has the POWER to enrich the ARTIST! He paints with huge love for paintings, and thats reflect in to the oil paintings art.GENIUS.Using various light colours values, paints in "lazurro" layers, use varnishes, mixed oils and terpentine varnish.

  8. What an extraordinary artist Vermeer was, he saw the world in such a poetic way.  This was a wonderful documentary, thank you for posting it.

  9. Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to the reason why Vermeer seems to be the only 17th century painter to depict virtually all women in an advanced state of pregnancy.

  10. First 5 and a half minutes dedicated to atmospheric scenes and music……
    There is little known about Vermeer, so a documentary cannot focus on his biographical details.
    The alternative is a discussion of how he painted…his techniques.
    And little is really known about that either.
    So, we get empty generic comments like, "Harnessing light is central to the power of Vermeer.He transformed paint into light in the most mesmerizing way."
    Then we get another 2 minutes of music.
    Poor Meryl Streep.
    Even she couldn't bring life to that insipid text.
    Just look closely at the paintings.
    Just LOOK.

  11. The fact that the woman in blue with the letter has no shadow lends a ton of credence to the "Tim's Vermeer" theory. She stood for long enough to capture her form but not her shadow. The use of optics doesn't make him any less gifted an artist… what you see on the canvas came from his hand and nobody else has been able to fully duplicate it.

  12. I don't know why anyone would think that his use of a camera obscura diminishes Vermeer as an artist in any way. Try it sometime. Paint from a photograph or a projected image. Do it. Then come back and show us your results. Show us how EASY it is to recreate the light that you see in the image.
    If you think this diminishes his art, then you don't know a damn thing about art.

  13. 32:06 is that the original actual painting he's holding? How tiny it is, how could he make all those details so accurately on such a little painting OMG

  14. I honestly don't care at all about how Vermeer achieved his paintings!! They ALWAYS put a smile on my face and feelings of HAPPINESS on otherwise dim days. These CONSPIRACY films mean NOTHING to me and DOESN'T change a thing. (My opinion which matters only to me as others opinions matter only to them) It seems that some people are ALWAYS going to put a negative where there shouldn't be one.. I think it's sad … I'm glad that I am able to enjoy the art exhibit at my leisure.. thank you for that🤗I also like how the models shared the pearl earrings with each other😉

  15. MoribundMurdoch's Favorite Vermeer Works As of July 20th 202,018 Human Era
    Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, c. 1657
    Woman Holding a Balance, c. 1663-1664
    Soldier with a Laughing Girl, c.1658-60
    The Little Street, c. 1657-58
    The Art of Painting, c. 1666-67
    Girl with a Pearl Earring, c.1665
    Mistress and Maid, c. 1667-68
    The Procuress, 1656
    The Glass of Wine, c. 1658-60
    Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, c. 1664-65
    A Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid, c.1670
    The Geographer, 1669
    The Love Letter c.1669-70
    Young Lady at the Spinet
    A Lady Standing at the Virginal, c.1672-73
    The Milkmaid, c.1658-60
    The Music Lesson c.1662-64
    Diana and her Companions, c.1655-56
    Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, c.1655
    The Girl with the Wineglass, c.1659-60
    The Astronomer, 1668
    View of Delft, c.1660-61
    The Guitar Player, c.1670
    A Lady Writing, c.1665
    The Concert, c.1665-66
    The Lacemaker, c.1669-70
    A Lady Seated at the Virginal, c.1675

    [See: Vermeer]
    #vermeer #painting #art #moribundart #artmoribund #moribundmurdoch #opinemoribund

  16. Are the true paintings of Vermeer actually that small? That is truly an amazing cramped size canvas to paint in and create such detail and precise imagery. Wow! For me the paintings are almost a photograph imagery of that moment in history yet put into paint. Vermeer must have had a photographic memory for such detail in his work. Big thumbs up for this documentary on Vermeer and can see his genius.

  17. This is interesting. But the criticism is too fawning. For example, the girl's face is looking straight, but is turned in the mirror. Why could we not call that a flaw? And the statue-like poses are said to give a timeless quality. Wouldn't lively poses do the same?

  18. In these days when men are chastised for the "male gaze" I had to explain to a woman friend that I wasn't looking at women with lust, I was looking at them as art. They need not be beautiful or young. Their faces tell stories.

    When a woman has an un-rehearsed smile their faces shine and it makes me happy.

    It's not my fault. Millions of years of evolution have made me this way. If I were a cold hearted, patriarchal, objectifying, straight white male life would be a lot less complicated.

  19. Im from holland and im very proud of all the dutch masters!!
    They say in holland the natural Light Is very different so thats why also a lot of foreign painters in the 1600 and up came to Holland to paint.. i know this information because i am very interested in the history of dutch masters and this was commenly known the natural Light i mean. And in holland we also have districts wich every street has a name of a dutch master.

    Greets from Holland

  20. Here is the crux of the matter to all you non thinking atheists out there.
    Picasso said art is a lie that makes you see the truth. It's painterly effects, juxtoposition of texture and color that from a distance interlock to show deeper reality or psychology . 98.7% of all statements about art is completely useless, even in this documentary. Talking and talking does not give knowledge, truth. For that, you need revelation from Jesus, God. And to paint like this is impossible without lead white. They were living in a time of substance and value, thus you have quality art, these days you have artificial culture that is reflected in trash art.
    How many people believe in the religion of evolution?
    Many, yet it is completely false.

  21. I strongly believe Vermeer relied predominantly on optics to paint. Doesn't make the paintings any less wonderful.

  22. It is funny to hear when in "Tim's Vermeer " they say that human can not see the wall the way Vermeer has drawn it – it is impossible. I mean, I had to laugh. I will be saying shocking facts to all non-artists – yes, in art schools they do TEACH you to SEE. It is actually a skill, as well as drawing, painting itself… Vermeer was a fantastic painter, but do visit some art schools, see some of the works of the modern unknown guys and girls – they definetely can paint on the level of Rembrandt, Vermeer, de Hooch etc.

  23. A lot of the dark colors are warm colors and are glazed over this might allow for the use of a cooler white in places or less contrast in other places

  24. In my opinion, this is an over interpretation of an artist that simply painted without thinking all that…"put you back to the childhood…" oh come on!

  25. This is by far the best Documentary I've ever watched,and let me tell you,I've watched a lot,but the music and the soft narration,……..man………it made me fell asleep,just loved it, keep on doing these kind of documentaries,

  26. The artist in his studio…. the missing easel leg is not the only 'Easter Egg' in the painting. See if you can discover the other hidden 'Easter Eggs'.

  27. The debate on whether Ver Meer used a camera obscura or not is mute. We will never know the answer because we do not have solid evidentiary documentation on any of his life's work. We do know that all good artists, past and present, use visual aids and do not paint from memory if they "want to get things right." Every artist uses references…whether it is a projected image, live models or set up well lit still lifes. Ver Meer was the master of "artistic license " so whatever he did to get the vision of what he painted is what he did. HIs life was too short. I would have loved for him to have lived to 80 so we could see just how he could have continued to evolve with his paintings. The fact that he was here on earth at all and painted so many beautiful scenes that we can view in museums and in private collections is a thing of wonder to me.

  28. O SON OF BEING! Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favor upon thee.

    – Baha'u'llah

    Vermeer's secret belief ?

  29. If you listen carefully you can hear them speak about him in present not past tense keeping his genius alive.

  30. Thank you to everyone involved in making this documentary. It was an enormous pleasure to view. I don't really care if Vermeer used any kind of lens or not. I just feel happy looking at his paintings because they are so beautiful.

  31. 8:28 – Daylight, because he lived in a time before Tesla and Edison.

    The Canvas belongs to your world – you paint it to portray: Your desires – ideas – Your imagination or Your Reality – both are Your Thoughts

  32. Mire a mi y ke linda pintura y de paso cuantos divujo un maravilla espero llegar a esa calida pero en paisaje

  33. Veneer, the Master of Light. He was said to have used a lens, a camera oscura… by critics decades after his death… does it really matter? What matters is his exquisite attention to detail and perspective that appears to compete with a modern photograph!

  34. Great documentary.
    I wish they would have used someone other than Streep as the narrator. She is terrible. Just because she is a Hollywood "A" lister.

  35. Thank you for such a beautifull video. An honor to be able to listen to experts. Thank you again to invest your time to share. Greetings from Holland.

  36. I don't know anything about Vermeer, but the Commentators sound like they're over analysing the Artist? However, it's possible he was just an ordinary person that liked Art, and was good at Creating his own thoughts, views, and expressions on Canvas using Oil Paints, without trying to impress the World in his time!

  37. I don't know art well at all but I do appreciate Vermeer's work in a way that is understandable to me. Sometimes, however, I feel like the art historians or curators are sometimes focusing more on the technical aspects of the painting because they don't really know what the painting is trying to say and so use a lot of filler talk that can be used when talking about any number of master painters' works. I understand that intelligence is often associated with fine art but I really think offering their personal opinions on what Vermeer was thinking or trying to express. If you rewatch it you'll see the distinct moments technical fluff is used too often. Technical details are important but they are the tools that guide you to the message of the painting in my opinion. They are necessary but not the focal point. The Harvard historian was the most honest of all and even said after 60 years he really couldn't define what a Vermeer painting really is but the English historian/curators just throw around opaque fluff that is really general art talk it seems. I still give 10 out of 10 to the documentary but the comments are full of people who write as if their intelligence levels went up 2 fold after watching this documentary. I appreciate good art and good directing and editing and its best to be honest sometimes than give over the top fawning comments that overlook the pros and cons of what we see. It was very informative for me and though I don't feel intellectually stimulated I do feel a sense of appreciation for the work and thought process of this master painter.

  38. The experts are talking shit here…. Vermeer is wonderful and I believe they are trying to explicate the subtleties BUT they all fall into what Sam beckett called 'Art cackle'….. complete claptrap….

  39. A true artist ! i think he was limited to the dutch scene or wouldve expiremented much more.
    Unlije van gough vermear can paint straight lines and use shadows.

  40. The technical aspects of Vermeer’s paintings are interesting but not the reason why his paintings resonate with the viewer. He captures the essence of humanity, of the connection between men and women. Without that we are left only with technique which cannot by itself stir the soul.

    Seymour Slive, Art Historian, Harvard University touches on the key to Vermeer’s paintings of women. Seymour says he himself loves women in trying to unlock Vermeer’s motivation. From my view point as a man, I think what drives Vermeer’s paintings of women is his love of women. Why else are most of his paintings in this documentary paintings of women. Vermeer captures the quiet moments that men never talk about; the little welcoming glance from your wife as you enter a room, the joyous smile from your daughter, the calm profile of your girlfriend when she reads a book, a shy smile from a girl that is walking towards you, the list goes on. These are all calm moments and at their core are about human connection. Men treasure this connection with women and that I think this is the allure of Vermeer’s paintings of women for men. I venture that women also treasure these quiet moments and put themselves in the place of the subject of the paintings.

    If some doubt this love of men for women then think of Titanic. Giving up your life so women can live is the ultimate expression of this love. It is sad that I felt that I had to write this paragraph but in the early 21th century the purity of men’s love for women is a much challenged concept.

  41. Where does all of this discussion come from? Is there writing or other other information that they are going by.
    Certainly another educated artist and scolars can break down but how is there so much detail about how and more interesting why he did things.
    Is the narrative bases on some facts?

  42. How could you have a documentary about Vermeer and not profile one of his most famous paintings, "The Girl With the Pearl Earring"?

  43. Great post, thank u. All I know is that I like his work very much, for me it’s simply beautiful to see. Thanx, Johannes!

  44. Enjoy his paintings some people completely miss the point , so caught up in being right and others being wrong. It's hilarious the narcissistic comments some people make 😂😂😂

  45. if "The Girl in The Red Hat" isn't the sister of Rembrandt, I will eat my red hat, btw, this painter of simply of the highest level of brilliance, absolute master, without being a stuck up marshmallow brain. He probably died so young because he was bored of the usual ego driven oafs of this world.

  46. hockney wishes he could paint like this. this guy represents the best humans have ever painted in the entire history of this planet.

  47. I just want to ask for forgiveness. I have so often looked on artsy types with disdain, but now I am in awe with how much I never saw. I am in awe of how much others see in what I thought was just a “purty pitcher”. I never realized the magnificence of this thing that painters do, how God bestowed such a transcendent gift on some humans. And the gift He gave to others to perceive all of this. Thank You, thank you, thank you. I only wish I had the time and resources to avail myself of the expertise of such people, to lift me out of my ignorance. And it frightens me to think of how much I have missed in the artists whose work I admire. Thank you, I have much now to think about.

  48. His what it means? To admire? To realize our inability to duplicate the effort of another? Or is it the recognition of how an entirely different level exists? And then someone comes along and lifts you up and lets you just brush the edge of it and joy touches you like a spark?

  49. wow, just wow. so many I'd never seen before. thank you for the people in the doc that taught me how to look at the paintings.

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