Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a precious catalog, 5 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Vermeer (Colour Library) (Paperback)
This book offers a valuable palette of the mysterious painter. As these masterpieces are spread all over the world , this is a chance to contemplate the whole collection gathered in an agreeable size. Bailey's commentaries serve the pictures rendered in superb graphics. Vermeer is one of the few painters who fixed eternity out of still life and offered a mesmerizing infinity of rich details. Now this book will help art enthusiasts in contemplating these details , or as a recollection of joyous museums memories. I deeply appreciated this book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential, 29 Jun. 2013
By 
Peasant (Deepest England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Vermeer (Colour Library) (Paperback)
Only 36 paintings by Vermeer survive, which makes things easier when producing a book about him - as opposed to, say, Picasso or Monet. It is possible, as Bailey does here, not only to illustrate every painting but to provide plentiful blown-up details and the works of contemporaries for comparison. At first glance the prints appear almost fuzzy, and the colours surprisingly soft - but this in fact is a faithful representaion of the originals. The close-ups show how soft-focus Vermeer's brushwork was, and the matte surface and gentle tones are just what you see when you go to the National Gallery or the Riksmuseum to visit them.

Not every painting is a masterpiece; if Vermeer had carried on with his wafty Biblical tales or his scenes from Classical mythology, he would be a footnote, not a star. Bailey's intorductory section traces his career and biography, carefully distinguishing between known facts and informed speculation. He presents his own understanding of Vermeer's working methods, and takes pains to point out, with several careful examples, that the realism of the paintings is deceptive - details, designs and colours are altered to suit the particular composition, even if the same room is clearly being used as a "set".

The plates follow, each with accompanying notes - where a detail is given, it too has notes explaining some relevant point, such as the blow-up showing the reflection in the mirror in "The Music Lesson". This part of the book is pretty unbeatable - it sets each painting in context, showing alongside it a similar work by a contemporary or, as with 'Young woman with a jug', giving a reproduction of the original map shown in the top corner of the painting.

Bailey believes Vermeer used the 'camera obscura' only as a tool to understand images rather than utilising it in the composition and creation of his paintings. Others differ, arguing that features of Vermeer's style, such as the pinpoints of white seen on objects in "The Milkmaid", the perspective and the quality of the light, all indicate that he painted not from 'life', ie sitting in front of the subject; but from the image of the scene cast by the optical device. This does not in any way devalue Vermeer's work - in fact it shows his intelligence, analytical abilities and vision as well as his sheer skill. A camera obscura cannot turn a poor painter into a good one!

The bare facts of Vermeer's life are given dramatic flesh in Girl With a Pearl Earring (the book not the film) which has a wonderful sense of time and place - although Chevalier gets the wrong sort of 'camera obscura'. Anyone interested in Vermeer's use of optics should read either the erudite and technical Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces, or the inspirational and briskly written Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters. Do not bother, however, with Vermeer's Hat: The seventeenth century and the dawn of the global world, which has very little about Vermeer and concerns European trade with China.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference, 2 Mar. 2014
By 
Oakman "Joe" (Manchester , UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vermeer (Colour Library) (Paperback)
This gave me everything I wanted , good full page image , great description about what is going on in the picture and the hidden references in it . It is nothing too in depth but a wonderful introduction to Vermeer's work and life .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Full-colour, full-page pictures, 11 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vermeer (Colour Library) (Paperback)
At first I borrowed this book from the library, but quickly realised that I needed to buy a copy of my own! It is a gorgeous book, with full-page, A4 sized, full-colour pictures of each of Vermeer's major works. Opposite each picture is text giving an explanation of the symbolism of items depicted and interesting historical details about the work (did you know that 'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' was sold at auction in 1882 for less than £1?). Also included are the actual measurements of the original and its location. Some of the pictures have an additional page, showing an enlargement of a detailed section of the painting. A must-have for Vermeer fans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Vermeer (Colour Library)
Vermeer (Colour Library) by Martin Bailey (Paperback - 12 Aug. 1998)
£6.50
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews