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Vermeer: Master of Light

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Vermeer: Master of Light, is a visual quest in search of what makes a Vermeer a Vermeer. It is a journey of discovery, guiding the viewer through an exploration of Vermeers paintings and examining the secrets of his technique.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep
  • Directors: Joseph Krakora
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Microcinema International
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026BTRUK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,152 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
After the recent Metropolitan Museum exhibit featuring Vermeer's Milkmaid, I got interested in reading more about the artists. My librarian suggested this video and I liked it so much I decided to purchase a copy for my personal library. The analyses of composition and the graphics they've created to describe Vermeers painting techniques are really great . . . and, unlike some art historians, those interviewed here don't go off the deep end in their interpretations.
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This documentary is tied together nicely with perfect narrator tone, extraordinary paintings and lovely, fitting music. I knew I would be mesmerized by the images on the screen, and the story engages like no other. It was an interesting piece to learn more about Vermeer's paintings and his technique.
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A good mix of experts with lots of superb graphics. Computer 3D wire simulations. Analysis of original lines and removal of touch-ups that were added over the centuries to "improve" the paintings. A gem of a DVD. Lets have more of these for other artists.
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I happen to love Vermeer's work...contrasts of light and everyday subjects. To get a flavor of life in his time
the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring is wonderful...done in the same tones as his work. This DVD narrated by Meryl
Streep is a great study of his works and she is joined by Art Historians who use modern techniques to explain
how he painted and how precise Vermeer was in color, composition, and most importantly, his use of LIGHT.

Little is actually known of Vermeer..he left no letters etc,,,just his magnificent works of art, numbering 35 in all.
There is so much mystery about his life, in fact, much is surmised from Dutch history and the culture of the
time, but nothing directly of his thoughts, feelings, motivations. What is known and accepted in the art world is that
he was a great Master artist and his use of light consistent and unique. I so liked the explanations of how scientific he was
in focus and use of color. His subjects were household members mostly, and are a visual comment of the times, mores,
dress, and attitudes of the Dutch in the 1600's . He died at 43, was beholden to benefactors, and had many children.
It seemed he was at home where he worked most of the time. Interesting so little is known of him.

I would love to see more of these sorts of documentaries done by art experts about the Impressionists as well and
great Masters..art history classes on dvd would be wonderful. I am lucky to live near the Smithsonian, one of America's
treasures, as well as the Corcoran Gallery of Art. If you find Vermeer's work interesting you will want to own this DVD
and learn how incredibly talented he really was. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
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I enjoyed this DVD on Vermeer very much. I have seen other Documentaries on his work, and found this one to be one of my favorites. I would recommend it to artists and non artists. It is a calm relaxing film to watch with Meryl Streep as the narrator. She speaks clearly and slow to hear and understand the narration of the works by Vermeer. Quality of the film is very good also.
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This video is a uniquely excellent study of art. The quality of the video is good and the narration is perfect. The historians who talk about the pictures do a brilliant job describing the construction of the images and these discussions are supplemented by superb animations that show the construction of perspective, color and shadows.

However, there are two weaknesses here. First the minor gripe, the historians clearly love Vermeer and when they are not talking about the technical aspects of his painting they do gush a bit. A more serious weakness is the amount of material covered and the length of the video. The video only shows about a dozen of his paintings and more than 10 percent of the video is environment/nature shots and credits. So, what is covered is as good at it gets but I feel a bit shortchanged....
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This is more an instruction for the art student though does give perspective with opinions of how Vermeer tackled object placement. Lots of filler. Meryl Streep did very little narration.

I absolutely love Vermeer and P D Hooch but would recommend Girl With A Pearl Earring for the cinematography (not the acting) as you get a truer feeling for the emotion of what the artist was working with for light and setting. Would not spend that amount had I known.
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There is not much biographical information, because not much is available, but the paintings are fabulous. The paintings are analyzed as to their composition and color. Very interesting information--I have not seen this done before.
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