Vermeer

Albert Blankert, Author, John Michael Montias, Author, Gilles Aillaud, Author . Overlook $65 (240p) ISBN 978-1-58567-979-9

Vermeer could not have anticipated that The Girl with a Pearl Earring would make him a pop culture icon. This oversized art book paints a wide-ranging critical and historical portrait. Vermeer completed only 30-some paintings, which are beautifully reproduced in plates that celebrate every facet of these marvelous works. Other illustrations develop a rich context for the paintings, complementing three notable essays (following a brief introduction by the late French artist Aillaud). Blankert, a Vermeer expert at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, serves as eloquent docent in two essays, plus a catalogue that documents provenance to the present day. Montias, an expert in 17th-century Dutch politics and economics who died in 2005, combs the scarce records of 16th- and 17th-century Delft to conjure Vermeer's environment, drawing on primary documents—from marriage certificates to house inventories listing objects that often appear in paintings (also listed in a full appendix). Unlike many, neither Blankert nor Montias see Vermeer as a “neglected genius”: he did well enough in his lifetime—or would have, if he hadn't had so many children and nefarious relatives. But as they do show, the artist's star rose through the 18th century, and the scholars, updating their 1978 British edition of this work, bring the story up to the present. 164 color and 35 b&w illus. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-2-7541-0724-2
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X