YAMAMOTO Akira Tokyo Inst't of Polytechnics, Faculty of Arts, Assist.Prof., 芸術学部, 講師 (80288109)
NAITO Akira Tokyo Inst't of Polytechnics, Faculty of Arts, Assoc.Prof., 芸術学部, 助教授 (10288110)
|Budget Amount *help
¥1,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,200,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥300,000 (Direct Cost : ¥300,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥900,000)
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), a Dutch painter of everyday life in 17th century Holland, constructed works of art completely different from other painters of his day. The hypothesis that Vermeer used the forerunner of the modem photographic camera, the camera obscura as an aid in making his paintings has been repeatedly submitted since the revaluation of his art in the late 19th century. Although historical sources indicate contemporary interest in the camera obscura, they do not specifically document Vermeer's use of this device. The main purpose of this study is to examine whether this hypothesis can be substantiated.
Because a camera obscura leaves few physical traces on the painting, one must rely on an interpretation of the image to determine whether it exhibits characteristics derived from the use of a camera obscura. Upon close examination, a number of optical effects visible in the camera obscura are found in at least some of his paintings, They are the accentuated perspective, heightened colors, contrasts of light and dark, halation of highlights, and vignetting effects.
The first exhibition devoted exclusively to Vermeer was held in 1995-96 in the National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis. Since then, an international team of scholars has presented new ideas about Vermeer's creative process and technical means. For example, an essay in the catalog for the exhibition by Jorgen Wadum, chief paintings conservator at the Mauritshuis, provides the artist's use of perspective in which he reveals new evidence of Vermeer's working methods. A critical analysis of Wadum's essay is included in the last chapter of this report.