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Proust + Vermeer
(Dir. Richard Voorhees, 30 mins., in French with English subtitles)
Arguably the greatest French writer of the 20th century, Marcel Proust was a huge admirer of Vermeer, and he wove many observations about the painter into his novel À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time, or Remembrance of Things Past) Some are laughable and some profound.
In Swann’s Way, published exactly 100 years ago, Proust begins innocently enough, with a title character intermittently writing an essay on Vermeer. Over time, everyone in Swann’s world becomes at least passingly familiar with the painter, and Proust pokes fun at some of the misconceptions these characters have about the mysterious 17th-century Dutch artist. In the end, though, when Proust’s character Bergotte leaves his sick bed in order to go see The View of Delft, Vermeer’s genius becomes the catalyst for some of Proust’s highest and most moving drama.
All Vermeer’s known works are featured in this half-hour Proustian tour de force.
Looking Beneath the Surface: Dutch Art and Meaning in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer
Kate Lusheck, Assistant Professor of Art History/Arts Management (University of San Francisco) and a specialist in 17th-century Northern Baroque art, discusses issues of artistic meaning, representation, and tradition in the paintings and prints of the Dutch Golden Age. In what new ways and why did Dutch artists often mirror or imitate the world around them in works of art? Are there other meanings we might find behind or beneath the surface? And how does Dutch art relate to local history and culture in a time of war, local prosperity, and widespread global trade and art collecting?