Essential Vermeer 3.0
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Did Vermeer make mistakes? What is the Milkmaid preparing in her kitchen? Is the Girl with a Pearl Earring really a masterpiece and is her pearl a fake? Why did the artist's reputation vaporize so quickly after he died and why is he so famous today? What tricks and special colors did he use? Bolstered by his lifelong study of Vermeer and decades of experience as a professional painter, Jonathan Janson reveals Vermeer's life and art in human, down-to-earth terms.

For anyone interested in Vermeer the man and Vermeer's art, rather than his myth, 25 Things You Didn't Know about Vermeer offers rare glimpses into the artist's day-to-day experiences and struggles both inside and outside the confines of his studio.


25 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know about Vermeer: Tricks, Troubles and Triumphs of a Great Dutch Master
Jonathan Janson
2021 | PDF | $6.95

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Essential Vermeer Interviews

The following exclusive Essential Vermeer interviews website are listed in chronological order:

March 20, 2011

E. Randol Schoenberg is the Los Angeles lawyer who represents Helga Conrad, the step-daughter of Jaromir Czernin, in the ongoing dispute for the ownership of Johannes Vermeer's Art of Painting now housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The interview intends to bring forward detailed information and legal evaluations regarding the dispute so that the reader might acquire a more informed opinion regarding such an important and complicated case which has, unfortunately, largely unfolded out of the public view.

June 4, 2010

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Vermeer's art has been championed as an example of the "art for art's sake" doctrine which held that art was valuable as art which did not require any sort external justification. Art was no longer judged for it moral, didactic or political message but for its formal values. From then on, art was largely discussed in terms of style color, line, shape, space and composition. Although in the last half of the century art historians have correctly realigned Vermeer's art within the context of his times. authoritative Vermeer experts have continued to eulogize his uncanny formal compositional arrangements of his quiet interior scenes. In their discussions, one of the terms most frequently associated with the artist's compositions is no doubt "balance."

Paul Taylor, who has extensively investigated seventeenth-century European and Dutch art theory, has taken a fresh look at the question of Vermeer's composition marshaling good evidence that we may have to rethink some of our unquestioned assumptions about how Vermeer went about arranging his pictorial designs.

March 15, 2009

Best remembered for selling a fake Vermeer to Hermann Goering during the Second World War, Han van Meegeren never admitted to creating any fakes dating from before 1937—but there have always been rumors suggesting that his career actually began much earlier than that. Drawing upon three years of archival research conducted in five nations and interviews with the descendants of Van Meegeren's partners in crime, Jonathan Lopez reveals that Van Meegeren worked virtually his entire adult life turning out bogus old masters for a ring of art-world intriguers operating out of London and Berlin. Major dealers like Sir Joseph Duveen were stung by these forgeries, as was the great Pittsburgh banker Andrew Mellon, who bought two of Van Meegeren's fake Vermeers during the 1920s.

As Koen Kleijn of De Groene Amsterdammer has remarked, "The Man Who Made Vermeers shatters the popular image of Han van Meegeren as a lone gunman or picaresque rogue. Jonathan Lopez reveals the master forger as an arch-opportunist, a cunning liar, and a fervent sympathizer of the fascist cause from as early as 1928. Deftly reconstructing an insidious network of illicit trade in the art market's underworld, Lopez allows few reputations to emerge unscathed in this gripping and delicious book."

December 15, 2007

Author of Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World. For Brook, Vermeer's pictures, which seem so intimate, actually offer a remarkable view of a rapidly expanding world. The officer's dashing hat is made of beaver fur, which European explorers got from Native Americans in exchange for weapons. Those beaver pelts, in turn, financed the voyages of sailors seeking new routes to China. There—with silver mined in Peru—Europeans would purchase, by the thousands, the porcelains so often shown in Dutch paintings of this time. Moving outward from Vermeer's studio, Brook traces the web of trade that was spreading across the globe.

April 30, 2005

Louis Peter Grijp (1954) studied the lute at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and musicology at Utrecht University. He has written extensively about Dutch seventeenth century music and lead to the foundation of the Utrecht Early Music Festival. He wrote many articles and was co-author of books a.o. Music and Painting in the Golden Age (Hoogsteder Exhibition 1994), in which he developed ideas which came back in several CD productions about painting: The Musical World of Jan Steen (1996) in cooperation with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Pickelherring. Music around Frans Hals (2004) with the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem. As artistic leader of Camerata Trajectina he has created dozens of programs on all kinds of themes from Dutch history, literature and art. Besides the lute he also plays the diatonic cittern.

April 11, 2005

Ivan Karp played a fundamental role in discovering and promoting the Hyper-realist painting, the most significant realist movement of the last half of the twentieth century. He was Assistant Director of the Leo Castelli Gallery from 1959–1969. In 1969 he opened the OK Harris Gallery in Soho New York which remains one of the most showcase for modern realism.

12 March, 2004

Chief conservator of the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis in The Hague. Through both his practice as conservator and his writings, Mr. Wadum has made significant contributions to our understanding of Vermeer's art. He headed the restoration project of the Girl with a Pearl Earring and the View of Delft in 1994 and personally restored the Girl with a Pearl Earring.

November 7, 2003

One of the foremost Vermeer scholars and author of numerous publications regarding both Vermeer and Dutch painting.

August 1, 2003

Author of the novel Girl with a Pearl Earring.

June, 2003

Editor (with Michiel Jonker) of Vermeer Studies and the author of Vermeer's Wager: Speculations on Art History, Theory and Art Museums, Margaret S. Winthrop Curator at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University.

April 12, 2003

Author of Giants of Delft. Johannes Vermeer and the Natural Philosophers: The Parallel Search for Knowledge during the Age of Discovery.

December 2, 2002

Author of the Girl in Hyacinth Blue.

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