Book Recommendation / Comparison -- Vermeer

We have spent the last couple of months studying the artist Vermeer.

I bought a wall calendar full of twelve beautiful reproductions which I hang on my kitchen walls and refrigerator.  Here are shopping options for the 2001 calendar: option 1option 2option 3.  You can also buy it at discount from www.calendars.com here.  Ooh -- Barnes and Noble as it for $3.49 here!

We've also read two book which I will compare very quickly.

I must say my favorite of the two was The Vermeer Interviews: Conversations with Seven Works of Art (Bob Raczka's Art Adventures).  I really enjoyed the dialogue between Bob and the subjects of Vermeer's paintings.  I also thought the author did a great job of focusing our attention on the details of each painting and trends in Vermeer's technique, props and subject matter.  While only seven of his paintings are studied, I think the author did a great job of not only giving his interpretations but also inviting his readers to offer theirs.

While I appreciated the size and quality of the reproductions in the book Vermeer's Secret World (Adventures in Art (Prestel)), I found the discussion on each painting represented to be more abstract for children and a little on the wordy side.  I was impressed by the selection of 22 of his possible 35 works of art; fifteen of the prints were full-page (9.5x11).  Also, I loved the way similar pieces of art were compared to one another in a single section.  For instance, The Geographer and The Astronomer were discussed in one double-page spread and their similarities and differences were touched on.

Oh, and of course, there's the irresistible Johannes Vermeer (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists).  
I highly recommend every book in this series, but choose the DVD if it is available for the particular artist you are studying.  They are just so much fun!  Go here for more information.

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