Documentary at Eye celebrating Vermeer

Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring is one of his most famous paintings.
Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring is one of his most famous paintings.

A new documentary chronicling the life and times of artist Johannes Vermeer will be screened at the Eye Cinema in Galway City on Monday, May 22.

It’s part of a nationwide screening of Vermeer, Beyond Time to celebrate the forthcoming exhibition Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry, organised by the National Gallery of Ireland in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

It focuses on one of the best-known and most treasured artists in the world, whose images are instantly recognisable to most people.

In this feature documentary, ‘Vermeer, Beyond Time’, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Cottet adopts an imaginative and sensitive approach to his subject. He focuses on the work but also explores Vermeer’s family life including his conversion to Catholicism, his artistic contemporaries and the wider world of the short lived Dutch Golden Age of the 17th Century.

Cottet’s film looks at the individual paintings and teases out what has come to be known as the Vermeer style; the representation of light, the interplay of colour and the effects of perspective across the same themes, places and objects.

Vermeer’s paintings are of a world inhabited by refined and cultivated women; respectful or troublesome servants; charming young people and learned men. He was ruthless in his elimination of objects and things that served no purpose.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.