Looking for a painting by Vermeer? Find it with QUICK SEARCH!

Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulder

by Jonathan Janson (painter & author of Essential Vermeer)

Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulder is a comprehensive study of the materials and painting techniques that made Vermeer one of the greatest masters of European art. But in order to form the clearest picture of his day-to-day practices, we must not only look at what went on inside Vermeer's studio but also at what occurred inside the studios of his most accomplished colleagues.

Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulder, then, describes in comprehensible language every facet of 17th-century painting practices, including artistic training, canvas preparation, underdrawing, underpainting, glazing, palette, brushes, pigments, and composition, each of which is then related specifically to the art of Vermeer, with the support of hundreds of images and diagrams. Issues usch as geometric perspective, camera obscura, studio organization, and brushwork are investigated in exhaustive detail. The reader will also be treated to a tour of how Vermeer applied his uncanny skills to depicting some of his most fascinating motifs, such as wall-maps, floor tiles, pictures-within-pictures, and Turkish tapestries.

Bolstered by his qualifications as a Vermeer connoisseur and practicing painter, the three-volume PDF format allows the author to address each of the book's 24 topics with meticulou attention. By observing at close quarters the studio practices of Vermeer and his preeminent contemporaries, the reader will acquire step-by-step a concrete understanding of 17th-century painting methods and gain a fresh view of Vermeer's 35 works of art, which reveal a seamless unity of craft and poetry.

While not written specicially as a "how-to" manual, aspiring realist painters will find a treasure trove of technical information that can be apdapted to almost any figurative style of painting.

author: Jonathan Janson
date: 2020 (second edition)
pages: 294
format: PDF | 3 volumes
illustrations: 200-plus illustrations and diagrams


Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulder


1 / Vermeer's Training, Technical Background and Ambitions
2 / An Overview of Vermeer’s Technical & Stylistic Evolution
3 / Fame, Originality & Subject Matter
4 / Reality or Illusion: Did Vermeer’s Interiors ever Exist?
5 / Color
6 / Composition
7 / Mimesi & Illusionism

Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulder


8 / Perspective
9 / Camera Obscura Vision
10 / Light & Modeling
11 / Studio
12 / Four Essential Motifs in Vermeer’s Oeuvre
13 / Drapery
14 / Painting Flesh

Looking Over Vermeer's Shoulder


15 / Canvas
16 / Grounding
17 / “Inventing,” or Underdrawing
18 / “Dead-Coloring,” or Underpainting
19 / “Working-up,” or Finishing
20 / Glazing
21 / Mediums, Binders & Varnishes
22 / Paint Application & Consistency
23 / Pigments, Paints & Palettes
24 / Brushes & Brushwork

For further information please click here to contact the author.

EV 4.0 Newsletter ✉

Latest Article

If you discover a or anything else that isn't working as it should be, I'd love to hear it! Please write me at: jonathanjanson@essentialvermeer.com