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Cover. Problems with Tim’s Vermeer. Tyler, Christoper W. Problems with Tim’s Vermeer: Analysis of the claim that Vermeer used mirror optics to achieve his exceptional artistry. 2014

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Tim’s Vermeer is a recent documentary film about one man’s effort to “paint a Vermeer” by viewing a reconstruction of Jan Vermeer’s studio through a mirror setup. Inspired by David Hockney’s thesis that painters used optical devices to achieve their compelling quality, neophyte painter Tim Jenison developed a double mirror version of the camera lucida and spent 130 days recreating an essentially perfect replica of Vermeer’s Music Lesson, reaching the conclusion that that this double-mirror technique is a plausible explanation for Vermeer’s uniquely realistic painting style. Careful analysis, however, reveals a number of inconsistencies in the story that raise question about the claim that Vermeer could have used such a technique in his own paintings.