Over 100 years of speculation and controversy surround claims that the great seventeenth-century Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer, used the camera obscura to create some of the most famous images in Western art.
This intellectual detective story starts by exploring Vermeer's possible knowledge of seventeenth-century optical science, and outlines the history of this early version of the photographic camera, which projected an accurate image for artists to trace. However, it is Steadman's meticulous reconstruction of the artist's studio, complete with a camera obscura, which provides exciting new evidence to support the view that Vermeer did indeed use the camera. These findings do not challenge Vermeer's genius but show how, like many artists, he experimented with new technology to develop his style and choice of subject matter. The combination of detailed research and a wide range of contemporary illustrations offers a fascinating glimpse into a time of great scientific and cultural innovation and achievement in Europe.
Over de auteur:
Philip Steadman is Emeritus Professor of Urban Studies and Built Form Studies at The Bartlett School of Architecture in London. He works primarily on the use of energy in buildings with special emphasis on the non-domestic stock. A second theme in Steadman's research is the geometry of architectural form. A third strand in his work is the history of perspective in painting. His book on the 17th century Dutch master Vermeer's Camera has been featured in some fifteen television programmes, as well as in a full-length documentary film Tim's Vermeer which appeared in 2013.
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