Johannes Vermeer was a 17th-century Dutch artist best known among us philistines for his portrait of Scarlett Johansson in Girl with a Pearl Earring. The man could paint. Or could he?
Tim Jenison, an inventor and software entrepreneur, wondered how Vermeer used light so much more effectively than his contemporaries and captured detail with almost photographic precision. Was it, in fact, all done with mirrors (plus a camera obscura)? Could Tim, a non-painter, re-create a Vermeer using the same methods?
Luckily, the amiably obsessive Tim has a few bob and lots of spare time. This is a fascinating study of a man whose focus provides an unintended insight into the mind of an artist, and whose findings blur the boundaries between art and science. 8/10
Released as part of the Sydney Film Festival, and nationally on July 3, 2014.