Videos, Novels and Poetry Inspired by Vermeer
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Millicent Clermont must learn what is real or fake in art, life, and love. A painting discovered in her mentor's Virginia plantation is on the list of Nazi looted art. Is it a real Vermeer? Was does the secret code in the overpainting mean and why will people kill for it? From the majestic halls of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the luscious landscapes of VIrginia, to Paris, Jerusalem, and Germany, readers will be enthralled with fascinating details of painting authentication, forgeries, and the Nazi desecration of the world's cultural treasures.
Oklahoma Book Awards 2013
In this innovative look at seven paintings by Jan Vermeer, author Bob Raczka takes on the role of interviewer and the people in the paintings become his willing subjects. From The Milkmaid to The Geographer, Raczka teases out fascinating details about these gorgeous works of art and their mysterious creator. As you might imagine, after more than three hundred years of silence, the characters inside these paintings have much to share.
Canada's first poet laureate, Bowering is both highly skilled in the formal aspects of poetry and perfectly accessible to the average reader. He is one of those old-school poets whose command of meter makes its employment seem effortless. Although some of his poems are in familiar forms and such self-invented nonce forms as those of the alphabet poems that make up part of this collection, his strong formal sense shines through even in free-verse poems, which never drag or digress but move with unrelenting, though not relentless, certainty. As for the accessibility, he doesn't bow to the fashion of substituting self-disclosure for self-awareness, and his poems are not so private as to be hermetic. In them we follow the recent life events of a man widowed after decades of marriage who finds new love and companionship, who mourns the deaths of friends and colleagues, and who finds life still rich and rewarding in its winter season. A delightful collection that may inspire readers to seek out Bowering's earlier work. Patricia Monaghan
In April of 1653 Joannis Vermeer married Catharina Bolnes. He was twenty and she, just twenty-one. Their marriage was opposed by her mother and the Catholic church. Vermeer was in the final year of his long apprenticeship and his ideas about art and its meaning were just forming. FAITH is the story of three winter months before that marriage—the most important months of his short life.
The novel, FAITH, started out as a puzzle and grew into something far more comprehensive and profound. My original idea was to write about Vermeer’s wife, Catharina, and her efforts to regain the painting, The Allegory of Art, after his untimely death. To do this, I knew I would have to go back to the beginning and explain how a Protestant innkeeper’s son could meet, love and marry the daughter of a wealthy Catholic woman. Nothing at all is known about these events except that they actually happened. That was the first puzzle. In order to solve it, I would have to connect the young artist to his world: Delft in Holland’s remarkable Golden Age. This led to further puzzles: With whom did he study? Who influenced him? Where did he paint? The list goes on and I was determined to solve these questions in an accurate and probable way. Apart from building a small but comprehensive Vermeer library and spending countless hours on the web, I traveled to Delft (exactly one year ago this month) and walked his streets and ‘felt’ his presence. These impressions, I trust, are captured in the novel.
However, FAITH is not a mere finger exercise in Art History or biography. The people involved in this story were artists, collectors, patrons, agents for powerful corporations, merchants, soldiers and priests, all driven by their personal passions and the heady power of their time. That world and those people form the background for FAITH, but it is a genuine and challenging love story that is at the center of it, as it should be.
In the end, I feel that I succeeded in exploring that world, but at a cost. One novel could not hold it all and do justice to it. FAITH would have to be the first in a series and I knew that I could write them. So, as it turns out, FAITH covers not ‘years’ in Vermeer’s life but only two and a half winter months at the end of 1652. Still, as a single novel, it is complete and all of the elements mentioned above are explored in it. The second novel in the series, FIRE, will cover his marriage, entry into the Guild of Saint Luke, several early paintings including Saint Praxedis and the death of Carel Fabritius. If I live long enough, the other five: LIGHT, IMAGE, DARK, SILENCE and LOSS might also get written. One can only hope.
Yousuf Zaigham was born in Lucknow, India. His poems have appeared in Afkar, Fonoon & Seep, leading literary journals in Urdu. Like A Vermeer and Other Poems is his first poetry collection in English.
In the classic tradition of E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, debut author Blue Balliett introduces readers to another pair of precocious kids on an artful quest full of patterns, puzzles, and the power of blue M&Ms. Eleven year old Petra and Calder may be in the same sixth grade class, but they barely know each other. It’s only after a near collision during a museum field trip that they discover their shared worship of art, their teacher Ms. Hussey, and the blue candy that doesn’t melt in your hands. Their burgeoning friendship is strengthened when a creativethief steals a valuable Vermeer painting en route to Chicago, their home town. When the thief leaves a trail of public clues via the newspaper, Petra and Calder decide to try and recover the painting themselves. But tracking down the Vermeer isn’t easy, as Calder and Petra try to figure out what a set of pentominos (mathematical puzzle pieces), a mysterious book about unexplainable phenomena and a suddenly very nervous Ms. Hussey have to do with a centuries old artwork. When the thief ups the ante by declaring that he or she may very well destroy the painting, the two friends know they have to make the pieces of the puzzle fit before it's too late!
The late-Renaissance Dutch painter created some of the most exquisite paintings in the history of Western art. He captured men and women transfixed in quiet meditative moments, using dramatic lighting and perspective to effect a moody and poetic ambiance. This book shows all his paintings in full-color and explains some of the techniques and meanings of these apparently innocent paintings of Dutch small town life.
In the annals of art theft, no case has matched—for sheer criminal panache—the heist at Ireland’s Russborough House in 1986.
The Irish police knew right away that the mastermind was a Dublin gangster named Martin Cahill. Yet the great plunder—including a Gainsborough, a Goya, two Rubenses, and a Vermeer—remained at large for years. Cahill taunted the police with a string of other crimes, but in the end it was the paintings that brought him low. The challenge of disposing of such famous works forced him to reach outside his familiar world into the international arena, and when he did, his pursuers were waiting.
The movie-perfect sting that broke Cahill uncovered an astonishing maze of banking and drug-dealing connections that redefined the way police view art theft. As if that were not enough, the recovery of the Vermeer—by then worth $200 million—led to a remarkable discovery about the way Vermeer achieved his photographic perspective.
The Irish Game places the great theft in Ireland’s long sad history of violence and follows the thread that led, as a direct result of Cahill’s desperate adventures with the Russborough art, to his assassination by the IRA.
"A Marcel Proust, la contemplación del paisaje de Delft pintado por Johannes Vermeer le dejó una huella memorable, sobre todo un muro amarillo reproducido en el cuadro, como contó después en A la búsqueda del tiempo perdido. El título de este magnífico poemario está sacado de la anécdota proustiana. Carlos Pujol nos introduce en la pintura y en la vida de Vermeer de un modo distinto y luminoso. No se trata del experto en pintura ni del erudito, se trata de la mirada del poeta –de un poeta muy culto, no nos engañemos–, que nos ofrece con la palabra lo que ni eruditos ni sabios podrán expresar nunca, porque se trata de otra visión y de otro lenguaje.
"El poeta contempla la obra de Vermeer y nos deja, casi de puntillas, las impresiones que suscita en su interior. Porque, al igual que en los cuadros del genial pintor holandés, en los versos de Carlos Pujol nos encontramos con la luz, con el silencio, con el misterio, con la serenidad, con la intimidad, con la memoria...; y ante la inefabilidad del arte cuando de verdad lo es. La mayor parte de los poemas del libro se inicia con la escueta descripción de alguno de los cuadros de Vermeer; a veces, se añaden breves referencias sobre la vida del pintor o sobre su época (los apuros para mantener a su numerosa familia; su catolicismo en un ambiente de mayoría protestante...), para concluir con una breve consideración de tono sentencioso. No deja de ser paradójica la fascinación por Vermeer –pintor del sosiego, de la serenidad, de la interioridad– en nuestra sociedad pragmática, trepidante y tan aficionada al ruido y a las bambalinas de la superficialidad. Aunque probablemente se trate del interés de una minoría, no deja de ser esperanzador. Busque buenas reproducciones de los cuadros de Vermeer y lea."
by Luigi Guarnieri
Jan Vermeer di Delft è uno dei pittori più enigmatici, misteriosi e ambigui della storia dell'arte. Anche oggi la sua vita resta avvolta nell'oscurità, e ancor più la sua carriera artistica. Morto in disgrazia nel 1675, dimenticato per due secoli, viene riscoperto solo nella seconda metà dell'Ottocento. In breve tempo la sua fama cresce a dismisura, anche per merito dell'ammirazione che gli tributano scrittori celebri come Marcel Proust. Ma questo libro racconta soprattutto un'altra storia, la storia incredibile di Han van Meegeren, artista olandese del Novecento che, per vendicarsi dei critici che avevano stroncato il suo lavoro di pittore tradizionalista nel secolo delle avanguardie, dipinge una serie di falsi Vermeer.
National YA prize-winning author Shoup has created a fictional portrait of the 17th-century world of the great Dutch artist Vermeer as seen through the eyes of his daughter, Carelina. Family relationships, daily life, and the artistic talents and aspirations of a young girl in the male-dominated art world make this beautifully told tale fascinating for young people. Fans of the nationally bestselling Girl with a Pearl Earring will enjoy this spirited and inspiring tale.
Brian Howell has masterfully interwoven three imagined episodes from the life of Johannes Vermeer. We observe the painter's own childhood and apprenticeship. We read a crime story involving an episode from the life of a modern-day ‘copyist', who is blackmailed into forging this masterpiece to save the woman he loves. We follow a French connoisseur who travels to Delft to visit Vermeer, only to find himself embroiled in a clandestine and deadly debate of the Painter's Guild about a new invention.
"Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful, much better than the novels I've read recently on Vermeer. Congratulations, I think it's superb."
"The spell Howell casts in his first full-length novel is enchanting...This is an enormously accomplished novel. "
—Time Out, London
This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer—but why has he hidden this important work for so long? The reasons unfold in a series of events that trace the ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and still further back to the moment of the work's inspiration. As the painting moves through each owner's hands, what was long hidden quietly surfaces, illuminating poignant moments in multiple lives. Vreeland's characters remind us, through their love of this mysterious painting, how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, what lasts and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.
Patricia Dolan defines herself by her job as an art historian and her identity as an Irish American. When she is 41, the combination of the two proves explosive, leading her to a rough cottage in West Cork. In Ireland she has for company only her own words, one elderly neighbor, and The Music Lesson, a beautiful Vermeer executed on wood. As she anticipates the arrival of Mickey, her distant relative and lover, Patricia slowly, tantalizingly reveals the events that have led to her isolation. Before Mickey had appeared one day outside her office at New York's Frick Museum, she had become inured to loss and death, a high-functioning depressive. But her 25-year-old third cousin once removed reawakens her. Alas, his interest is both personal and political, and she is soon involved in a plot to kidnap and ransom the Vermeer, property of the Queen. The painting, she tells herself fervently, "is an instrument of magic. Perhaps now it is also an instrument of change, a talisman, the charm that will force powerful people to pay attention and take decisive action at last."
Although the paintings of Jan Vermeer continue to be celebrated, very little is known about the painter himself—and still less about the women he painted. Who were they? What were their lives like? What thoughts, dreams, and desires might they yield up if we take the time to truly look at them?
In this elegant volume Marilyn Chandler McEntyre asks these very questions, and she teases out intriguing possibilities in twenty poems arranged side by side with color reproductions of the paintings that inspired them. McEntyre has chosen eighteen of Vermeer’s famous women—including The Lacemaker, The Milkmaid, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and The Girl with a Red Hat—to wonder about.
With precisely 35 canvases to his credit, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer represents one of the great enigmas of 17th-century art. The meager facts of his biography have been gleaned from a handful of legal documents. Yet Vermeer's extraordinary paintings of domestic life, with their subtle play of light and texture, have come to define the Dutch golden age. His portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has exerted a particular fascination for centuries—and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of Tracy Chevalier's second novel of the same title.
actor: Marlyn Streep
Vermeer : Master of Light is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an exploration of Vermeers paintings and examining the secrets of his technique.
Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson,
Director: Peter Webber
Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries.
Format: Color, Widescreen, Dolby
A slow, attentive movie about a painter and his model demands the kind of patience that moviegoers, especially in this hectic season, may feel reluctant to supply. But Peter Webber's reworking of Tracy Chevalier's novel is worth staying with: it casts a heavy spell as it unfolds the tale of Griet (Scarlett Johansson), a maid newly arrived in the house of Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth). The year is 1665, and the period reconstruction, for those who are aroused by such things, is-apart from a few modern lines of dialogue-formidably detailed. The danger with such beautifying efforts is that cinema will turn into a branch of taxidermy, and what keeps Webber's movie alive is the tenseness of the setup (will this girl stay in the artist's household, and, if so, will she become his lover or his muse?), and, above all, the presence of Johansson. She is often wordless and close to plain onscreen, but wait for the ardor with which she can summon a closeup and bloom under its gaze; this is her film, not Vermeer's, all the way.
A Hallmark Fall of Fame production based on the novel by Susan Vreeland, Girl in Hyacinth Blue
A riveting mystery traces a priceless masterpiece through three centuries. For generations, a "lost" Vermeer painting has passed between owners, changing the fate of all who have possessed it...whether bought in passion, sold in desperation or stolen in greed. An eccentric school teacher (Glenn Close), who secretly possesses the painting today, has devoted her life to researching its history. When she decides to share the story of the painting with a fellow teacher (Thomas Gibson), this 300-year-old mystery begins to unravel.
Staring: Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Thomas Gibson, Kelly MacDonald, Patrick Bergen
Commentary by the noted French art critic, Pierre Descargue
NTSC format (US and Canada only. This VHS will probably NOT be viewable in other countries.
In this, the first program to profile Jan Vermeer (1632-1675), award-winning director Michael Gill (Civilization, Monet. Legacy of Light) investigates the life and art of this elusive figure. Examining Vermeer's revolutionary techniques in detail, Vermeer: Light, Love and Silence challenges the theory that he painted over images projected by a camera obscura.
performed by Julia Gooding (soprano), Christopher Wilson (lutes/theorbo), Carole Cerasi (virginals)
This recording has been specially produced to complement the exhibition Vermeer and the Delft School at the National Gallery, London (June-September 2001). But even when the paintings have all been packed away, this is a disc which deserves to go on spinning. Compared with the exhibition itself, which limits itself to the artistic milieu of Delft, this recital spreads its musical wings a lot wider. The programme has been ingeniously constructed around the person of Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687), the long-lived Dutch polymath, composer and diplomat (and father of Christiaan, discoverer of the rings of Saturn and inventor of the pendulum clock). From his staggering 7,200 surviving letters it is possible to reconstruct Constantijn's far-reaching circle of musical, scientific and philosophical friends and correspondents.
Among the musicians, we find the legendary founder of the French school of harpsichordists, Jacques Chambonnières (Huygens met him in Paris in 1661), the lutenists Jacques Gaultier and François Dufault, and the English painter and composer Nicholas Lanier. Choice examples of their art mingle with music by the German harpsichordist Johann Froberger, who swapped a few of his own keyboard suites with Huygens in return for some by Chambonnières. Finally (and rather tenuously) there's an aria by the Italian composer Luigi Rossi whom Huygens tried unsuccessfully to attract to The Hague in the mid-1640s.
But taking centre stage are three groups of highly sophisticated vocal pieces by Huygens himself — Italian arias, French airs and Latin psalm settings — sung with quiet passion by Julia Gooding. Mirroring the intimacy of Vermeer's art, the sound-world created here is perfectly adapted to the dimensions of those small, immaculately furnished chambers which the artist was so fond of depicting. There's an almost painterly concern for the subtlest tone colors and sculpting chiaroscuro, and as Carole Cerasi plays an exquisitely voiced Muselaar virginals, based on a Ruckers of 1611, you can almost hear Vermeer's Young Woman Seated at a Virginal stroking the keys herself.
Elegant and luxurious, the paintings of Johannes Vermeer have been admired for centuries for their beauty and serenity.
Glimpsed in quiet moments of everyday life and bathed in sumptuous light, the subjects of Dutch Renaissance painter Johannes Vermeer’s luminous paintings seem transfixed in perfect stillness. The 12 works in the Vermeer 2014 Wall Calendar are among the most visited and beloved paintings in the world.