Vermeer obscura

Fascinating article in the New York Times about a new film illustrating the concept of science in art and art in science: “Engineering His Own Vermeer”.

For reasons he cannot quite explain, Mr. Jenison hit upon a technological sleight of hand, using optical gadgetry that has been available for centuries, that he believed could have aided the work of the old master painters particularly Johannes Vermeer, the 17th-century Dutchman with a startling talent for photorealistic work.
Finding no literature that he felt proved or disproved his thesis, Mr. Jenison determined he had only one course of action: use his discoveries to recreate a Vermeer work, despite his lack of painting experience.
Mr. Jenisons four-year journey to produce his own version of The Music Lesson is chronicled in Tims Vermeer, a documentary film that Sony Pictures Classics will open in limited release on Dec. 6, and that was created by the illusionist duo of Penn & Teller.

These theories about Vermeer and other old masters have been around for a long time, as the article makes clear, with some dispute. I hope the documentary comes to Madison!