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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The topic is the name of a documentary film. I'm posting this as a sideline to the discussion started by norson, "Artist or Craftsman."

I'm sure many of you have some familiarity w. the painter Johannes Vermeer. A fellow named Tim Jenison, one of the makers of a device called the "Video Toaster," which bundled many video recording and editing functions into a single computer controlled box, became fascinated, if not obsessed by the notion that Vermeer, as well as other artists used mechanical aids to create their lifelike images. What Jenison demonstrates is device/method that allows one to mimic Vermeers technique, although there is no historic record of such a device.

One thing I took away from the film was that in Vermeer's case, immense craft blended with inspiration to make the art.

Along the way to trying to replicate one of Vermeer's works, Mr. Jenison show not only remarkable inventiveness, but in the end an almost unbelievable patience. And, as my wife mentioned at just the same moment I thought the same thing "He must have lots of money."
 

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its a very good video, when you get past those dam adverts.

most reconised artists are well paid but theres not that may of them and you have to be in the right set of people to get that sort of money. It always seems to be the same thing . its not what you know its who you know that matters.

He may be right where the guys coming from but most artist in that time served under a master painter for years and a lot of work done by thses masters where acturallydone by there studentswith the master just finishing it of with his own flair they had. as the amount of work these guys did is staggering.It wasnt uncommon for the painter to have several students working under him
 

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Vermeer is something of an enigma. Little is known about him. Evidently he was a rug merchant, but the money in the family came from his mother-in-law. From what I gather, his works, tho' rare, were widely admired, but no one could quite figure out how he made them. Clearly, there was some sort of optical device involved. But his method of paint application was unusual. Purportedly, the famous "Girl with a Pearl Earring" has no trace of brush strokes. And there has been a lot of study of his compositional techniques. Among the remarkable features is that if he did use an optical device, he figured out how to position it so that the final perspective image would be congruent with the Golden Section divisions of the canvas.

While his work was sublime, and it must have taken months for each painting, if not longer, it is true that many artists worked from first light till last.

And there wasn't much in the way of art supply stores. One ground ones own pigments, made ones own brushes, cooked up one's own varnishes, stretched and sized the canvas w. rabbit skin glue, etc. etc. Which is why most studios did have a crew of apprentices.
 
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