Painters to me are very important, we can learn a lot looking at ones from the past. I also wonder if photography had been available would they have been photographers as well, here is one painter that I think might have been. I don’t know that Jan Vermeer would have been a photographer exclusively, but I could imagine he would have taken many photos for his painting. We know that he used new things like the camera obscura, so I don’t think it is implausible to think he would have used a camera.
I know people will disagree with me, I find there is something very photographic about his images. He is described as a Dutch Baroque Painter from that period, he was born in 1632 and died 1675. He lived a short life.
There is something about the ordinary in his work. The way he tried to capture everyday life and the people around him. In the movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring” they depict him as setting up scenes and putting models in them while he did a lot of the background painting, and looking at his perspective and attention to detail, I suspect that part was very true. It is believed he used the camera obscura to get the perspective correct.
In the movie they say this is the maid, but I don’t think they actually know who it is. We do know that it is one of his most recognisable paintings. Whether because of the movie or not. Most people know of this painting.
I think his style is quite unique and there is something about how he paints that really grabs my attention. I love his subject matter, the ordinary, in so many ways, and it is great for us that someone like him has given that to us, a glimpse into everyday life of the 17th century.
This sort of scene is something I go out with my camera to try and capture. The town with the river, and the beautiful light.I don’t know if it is morning or evening, but have always assumed it is meaning.
It is easy for us to sit back and wonder what he would have been had he been born a century or two later, but I feel confident saying, he would have loved photography. Of course, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t still have painted, there are many painters now that also enjoy photography as well.
I found a great website with lots of information about Vermeer, it is Essential Vermeer. Now here is a gallery for you to look at.