Monday, February 3, 2014

The way we view Art is not Rational

A while ago, I viewed a newspaper advertisement in the Boston Globe which featured a portrait of a young girl turned to the side looking over her shoulder at the viewer.   Upon looking at this young face, I immediately thought of the painting by Vermeer, Girl with the Pearl Earring. To check for similar facial feature/expression between photo and painting,  I searched on the Internet for Vermeer's painting. Below is the comparison of the two images.  So close except for a few variances that is, the tilt of the head and the sensuality of the mouth in Vermeer's. When looking at the advertisement, why did I immediately think, Vermeer! Was the photographer manipulating the universal appeal and recognition of Vermeer's image to tell a story; to sell an image?  An imitation or just coincidence?

I sent the visual comparisons to my art friends who agreed it was an uncanny resemblance; maybe it was the eyes someone suggested.

There is a new exhibition at the Springfield's D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts called "Intent to Deceive: Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World".  One of the exhibited phony paintings is John Myatt's 'Girl with the Pearl Earring'. Then I began to think, was I comparing a Vermeer's painting or a fake. So back to the Internet I went.  Which one of the images found below is a forgery?
Phew! I did have a the authentic image of Vermeer's masterpiece when doing my comparisons.  The right hand image is a fake and can be purchased at Juchuan Art.  This web site boasts of offering over 15,000, 100% hand painted oil paintings. Of course they're painted on canvas!... do I look like a fool?

In this world, there is only one, truly unique, Girl with the Pearl Earring, hand painted by the master, Johannes Vermeer.  But why be so concerned about viewing a fake vs the original?   An interesting BBC article can be read at this link,  It's all about brain waves!

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