Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the real painter of light

I just watched a fascinating documentary-- called "Stolen"--about the theft of 13 paintings and sculptures from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. (The whole film appears to be available on YouTube.) It details the search for these works of art but also offers some very nice commentary on some of the paintings, including several by Vermeer. I had forgotten how much I loved Vermeer in college. He was a huge favorite of mine until I went to Hong Kong and turned into a Chinese and Japanese art fanatic for a while. One of the paintings taken by the thieves in 1990 was "The Concert", which appears above. I am always drawn in by the way his paintings glow, even after 350 years. Contrast this with Thomas Kinkade, the purported "painter of light," known for his renderings of magical cottages backed by purply sunsets, etc. He is also known for sexual harrassment, public urination, and questionable business practices. Oh, and his newest line of NASCAR-themed paintings!


Meredith said...

Hooray! I am thrilled that I am not the only one who can't stand Thomas Kinkade! Matt and I got a kick out of his "Nascar" line of paintings (otherwise known as motel art for the masses).

I actually just read the "Girl with Pearl Earring" book, very loosely based on Vermeer, but it was fun to read about his paintings and then research them afterwards. It reminded me of my college art history courses.

Kristi said...

Yep- I can't look at a Vermeer without thinking of Humanities with Dr. Marshall at BYU. I've never been a Kinkade fan- but I'm thoroughly disgusted to find that out about him!

Patty O. said...

That is funny about Kincaide. He has never been my favorite, but my mom loves him. I especially cursed his name when in a fit of overzealous crafty ambition, I bought a Thomas Kincaide cross stitch to make for my mom, um, like 10 years ago. I have still not finished the cursed thing. What was I thinking?

With regards to the stolen paintings, I have always wondered what art thieves do with their plunder...I mean, trying to sell or even just display the paintings would be a major tipoff that you were the thief, right?