That’s the question posed by Texan inventor Tim Jenison, who sets out to scratch beneath the veneer of Vermeer to find out what lay behind the legendary lifelike quality of the Dutch master’s paintings.
Johannes Vermeer painted during the seventeenth century and his pieces were notable for being exceptionally true-to-life. The “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, which later inspired a novel and film of the same name, is one of Vermeer’s best known works.
Jenison asks how Vermeer could have created such realistic works 150 years before the invention of photography. Over eight years, the American enthusiast travels to Delft in Holland, Buckingham Palace and even meets David Hockney in Yorkshire to uncover the role which optics may have played in Vermeer’s work.
Tim’s Vermeer will be out in UK cinemas from 17th January 2014 through Sony.