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Johannes Vermeer Hardcover – October 25, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Despite the federal budget crisis and thanks to private monies, the Vermeer exhibition at the National Gallery is underway. To coincide with the exhibition, curator Wheelock has put together a thoroughly researched catalog of the exhibition's 23 works. Through the bits of evidence gleaned from Vermeer's life and 17th-century historical fact, Wheelock has pieced together Vermeer's artistic and geographical influences. The essay on the artist's use of perspective is the most remarkable because it enables the reader to understand the technician behind the artist; X-radiographs, included throughout the book, detail how Vermeer used a pin and a string to exercise his near-perfect perspective in his paintings. The excellent, full-size color plates are accompanied by brief descriptions of provenance, exhibitions, and technique. Although some claims made about the artist lack written documentation, this carefully researched work is recommended for fine arts collections. Given the popularity of the exhibition, large public libraries will also want to purchase.
Julie C. Boehning, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; F First Edition edition (October 25, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9040097941
  • ISBN-13: 978-9040097942
  • ASIN: 0300065582
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 9.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bragan Thomas on April 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate enough to have seen the now-legendary Vermeer exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. during the winter of 1995-96. 21 out of the 35 (or 36) extant paintings by Vermeer were included in the show, offering a unique opportunity to see the bulk of Vermeer's amazing works in a single space, something that no one has experienced since 1696, when @20 of his paintings were auctioned in Delft. Given the rarity and fragility of Vermeer's works, it is unlikely that such an event will ever be repeated. All who were unable to make it to the show, however, have this splendid book as a document of this unique event. This book will remain the standard work on Vermeer for many decades, and represents the fruit of several years' labor by art historians on two continents. Because so little is in fact known about Vermeer the man (in truth, we have no idea at all what Vermeer's education, interests, and personality were like), the catalogue essays fill this gap by contextualizing Vermeer's work within the history of Dutch painting, the development of perspective, and the fascinating tale of Vermeer's "rediscovery" in the 19th century and his richly-deserved rise to worldwide fame. The essays and catalogue entries may be too technical for some readers, as the authors have expended a lot of effort to reconstruct Vermeer's exact technique, something which can only be gleaned from careful study of the paintings themselves (no drawings by Vermeer have survived, nor have any statements he may have made about painting). This extensive scholarly apparatus, while illuminating and occasionally even riveting (the essay dealing with Vermeer's rediscovery is a great detective narrative!Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This book accompanied the legendary 1995-96 Vermeer show at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. that found itself caught up in the Gingrich - Clinton shutting-down-the-government imbroglio. Remember now? Vermeer has grown in popularity and in public awareness since this show. Recently, a totally fictitious movie was made around his paintings. It was named after the painting that became the focus of the movie, "The Girl With a Pearl Earring". It was a good story, but had nothing to do with the real people involved because we simply do not know. There are only a few dozen paintings by the artist still extant, but they all are wonderful and attract modern sensibilities because of their lines and perfect artificiality and their perfect reality. They present the exact kind of contradiction and puzzles we love nowadays, and because there are only a few dozen, the dilettante can study each of them in detail without becoming overwhelmed.

This book has four fine papers that discuss aspects of what we know about the artist and his work. There is also a chronology and the catalogue of the exhibition, which had a very large sampling of the known paintings. The reproductions are fabulous including the details and the smaller reproduction of contemporary paintings with similar subjects by other artists.

Excellent book to have on your shelf. It is always pleasant to gaze into these 17th century paintings and notice things and then notice new things.
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Format: Hardcover
The year was 1995. The place was the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The occasion was the exhibit of 21 of the known three dozen paintings by Johannes Vermeer, Dutch master of the seventeenth century.

I missed the exhibit, too, but I have this 12 x 9 1/2 inch hard cover copy of that exhibit, plus all those essays about historical context, art techniques, probable interpretations of the paintings, and, oh yes, the paintings themselves. In one book. By my favorite artist. No, it's not the same, but I do have all these glorious paintings.

What makes Vermeer such a beloved painter? Please look at "The Geographer," which is on the cover of the book. See the light bathe the subject? See the subject's intensity? Those are the two major traits that set Vermeer apart. He used the natural light as it fell into his studio and he began that moment of intensity just at a moment of stillness--a sort of psychological study.

One such painting now made famous by both a novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Deluxe Edition and the movie, Girl With a Pearl Earring is "The Girl with the Pearl Earring." You might think it made a good biographical movie, but then you would be wrong. Why? Because we know almost nothing of Johnannes Vermeer. We don't know about his life except as it pertains to the time period in Delft, Holland, in the mid 1600's and beyond. All we know is what is recorded in contracts like marriage license. We don't know what he thought of art or how he started because he did not leave a word.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This paperback edition ISBN: 0894682199 (also as clothbound under ISBN: 0300065582) by Johannes Vermeer (Contributors: Ben Broos and Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr. with Albert Blankert and Jorgen Wadum; Editor: Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr.) is a lavishly illustrated catalog with excellent reproductions for the first exhibition devoted solely to the works of Johannes Vermeer--the 17th-century Dutch painter who explored the psychological nuances of human endeavor--opening at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in November 1995 (Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, the Hague, in March 1996). 232 pp., 127 illustrations including 60 color plates, 12.0 x 9.5 x 0.75 inches. ISBN: 061350710X is an entirely different book for children not even close to this one.
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