Friday, March 18, 2011

No One Was Like Vermeer

"Back in the days of Rembrandt, back in the days of old Jan Steen," back in the 17th century in what is now called the Netherlands to be exact, there lived and worked a painter named Johannes or Jan Vermeer. He was another "Dutch Golden Age" genre painter who recreated exquisite scenes of domestic middle class life. Vermeer lived out his whole life in the city of Delft. He worked slowly and meticulously, creating as few as 34 paintings in his lifetime, most of which are very small. "Girl with a Pearl Earring", perhaps his most famous work, is only 17.5" x 15".




"The Art of Painting" is the other Vermeer I think of. It was one of the larger ones at 51" x 43".




Okay, what made me think of Vermeer again recently was seeing Jonathan Richman last month, and hearing him perform one of his newer songs, "No One Was Like Vermeer". Little was known about Jan Vermeer and his life, which is why some art historians refer to him as the "Sphinx of Delft", but I think Richman's song somes up the man and his career nicely. It's a thoughtful and humorous song, and it begs the question, "Why aren't there more catchy pop songs about 17th century Dutch genre painters?" Once again I had to make a video. Nothing fancy this time, just a slide show of Vermeer's work.


I tried to upload the video I made to my Youtube channel, but WMG immediately DMCA'd it. I didn't realize Vapor Records was a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. I could find nothing on the web that said they were. So I uploaded my video to Dailymotion instead. This is "fair use" people. You just have to put up with Dailymotion's fucking ads...


Richman- Vermeer by techamanap


And from Youtube, Richman performing the above song live...


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