Facts About Johannes Vermeer

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Johannes Vermeer was one of the earliest artists to use a camera obscura, which transferred an image through a lens and onto paper or canvas to trace. Understand why Vermeer's work is so luminous and subtle with information from an experienced artist in this free video on art.

Part of the Video Series: Art & Painting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Koorosh Angali, with angali.com, and I'm going to give you some facts about the life of Vermeer. If we want to sum up the basic facts about Vermeer's life there are three basic facts to cover. One is that he is probably one of the earliest artists who used camera obscura. That means he projected the model, or the scene, or the lens, the still life that he was going to paint through a camera onto a transparent surface. He would trace it, and then he would transfer that onto his canvas or panel and, you know, paint it over it. The other fact is that Vermeer's paintings are mostly very small. They are, they are about twelve by sixteen at the most. Very few works he has larger than that, thirty by thirty six and and that sort of sizes. The third very important fact about his art and his approach to art is that he is probably the only artist who painted an entire painting in black and white and gray scales, finished it, and then after it dried he would add paint on top of that finished painting. That's why his paintings are so luminous and rich. And since, in oil painting, everything from underneath shows through all of these stages would show through, and it would give you a three-dimensional, if you will, type of work, rather than a two two-dimensional work.

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