- Hardcover: 96 pages
- Publisher: TASCHEN (March 4 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3836504898
- ISBN-13: 978-3836504898
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 1.3 x 26.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 581 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Vermeer Hardcover – Mar 4 2016
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About the Author
Norbert Schneider is professor emeritus of Art History at the University of Karlsruhe. His research focuses on art history of the Middle Ages and early modern times (and the history of genres of painting), the methodology of art studies, and the history of philosophy. His numerous books include TASCHEN’s Still Life and Vermeer.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
After Hockney whetted my appetite, I bought the engaging DVD, Tim's Vermeer [DVD] , where Tim Denison, successful inventor but not a painter, uses optics to re-create a Vermeer painting.
This lead me to buy this book by Norbert Schneider, in the Taschen Basic Art Series. Please don't be put off by this book because it's one of series on different painters. I really enjoyed it, and it covers a lot of territory.
Starting off with Vermeer's bio. He only painted two oil paintings a year, not nearly enough to make a living. His real money came from a wealthy mother-in-law and work as an art dealer. This book is unequivocal that Vermeer used optical equipment: "We now know that Vermeer used a camera obscura for most of his paintings. What is more, far from hiding the effects of the instrument, such as unfocused outlines and the famous pointillist dots of light, he drew attention to them."
This book is full of interesting information, and it is told without jargon or tedium. For example, Vermeer made use of "cavis interpretandi". This is a painting on the background wall of a scene, not the main focus, but it gives us a clue as to how to interpret the scene depicted.
Vermeer's paintings have been studied minutely. To the point of, for example, we know exactly which globe (what brand and model, to put it in modern terms) was used as a prop in his painting "The Astronomer".
This book is chock full of photos. Vermeer's works are presented, mostly in full page photos. That includes "The Concert", which can only be viewed in photos now, as it was stolen from the Gardner Museum (see the incredible story in the DVD Art of the Heist).
There are also 14 full page photos of details in Vermeer's paintings, and 9 more smaller detail photos. There are also 22 small photos of non-Vermeer contemporary paintings for comparison purposes.
Norbert Schneider's book on Vermeer is perfect for someone who is not an art historian and just wants to learn about the works of the "master of light".