Thursday, March 3, 2016

High resolution images of Vermeer’s paintings

High resolution images of Vermeer's paintings
Johannes Vermeer was either a remarkable 17th century Dutch painter or an enchanted sorcerer of light from beyond time and space — sometimes it’s hard to tell — but I find his work particularly entrancing among all painters.

His known existing oeuvre consists of only 36 paintings, each fascinating in their own way.

I have previously recommended the wonderful resource website, Essential Vermeer, maintained by Jonathan Janson, which is the go-to place on the web for information about Vermeer, his work, methods, context and historical background.

Though that site lists and shows all of the master’s paintings, including showing them at their relative sizes (which can sometimes be surprising), it does not itself host high-resolution images of the works; to do so would likely add prohibitive bandwidth costs to an already intense labor of love.

Instead, Janson devotes a page to resources for high-resolution images of Vermeer’s paintings, where possible on the websites of the museums in whose collections they reside. Some are in higher resolution than others, of course, but all let you see some of Vermeer’s extraordinary (and often surprisingly painterly) technique.

In addition, Josh Jones, writing for Open Culture, has assembled a more compact list.

If you have the chance to see Vermeer’s work in person, I highly recommend it. Essential Vermeer lists the paintings by geographic location and collection here.

There are, of course, numerous books on Vermeer. (One I particularly like for its details and context is Vermeer, by Pascal Bonafoux; it’s out of print but available used.)

Janson has a list and reviews of many others here. He has also published his own eBook, Looking Over Vermeer’s Shoulder: Seventeenth – Century Dutch Fine Painting Techniques and Studio Practices With Particular Focus On the Work of Johannes Vermeer, available from LuLu, which I have not yet had the chance to read.

Short of those options, these resources for high-resolution Vermeer images are a good way to view and enjoy some of the most remarkable paintings in the world.

[Topic suggestion courtesy of Eric Lee Smith]

 
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