Monday, August 31, 2009

Real imaginary

I stayed up a little past my bedtime last night to finish an intriguing little novel, The Girl in Hyacinth Blue

about an imaginary painting by the very real artist Vermeer. Susan Vreeland begins in the present day and follows the painting back in time as it passes from person to person, and eventually to its creation sometime before 1675, when Vermeer died. With amazing skill she details the effect of the painting on these people.

And after a bit more research, I see that the artist Jonathan Janson actually painted The Girl in Hyacinth Blue, as it is described in the book, in the style of Vermeer, in connection with a movie that was made of the novel earlier in 2000.

I wonder if, say 300 years from now, people are going to be standing in front of the art works of modern-day artists with such intensity of feeling as we do for the works of the masters who were painting in the 1600s. Will they be making movies and writing novels about our current painters? Does the local video store happen to have that movie on hand? Must find out.

1 comment:

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think LL that we have to believe that people will stand in front of our modern artists' works in that same way. If we relate this idea to all the arts - it is less than one hundred years since people walked out when Stravinsky's Firebird was first performed - now we just love it. I think tastes change, art moves on. I am sure there are plenty of artists from Vermeer's day who have gone into obscurity - similarly many today will - but the few greats will live on and be admired - at least that is what I think.