This Is Not a Vermeer ™

Can anyone own a masterpiece? In part one in this series about artistic authenticity, five very dissimilar people share a common desire: To own a Vermeer.

Rex Sorgatz
Jul 9, 2014 · 7 min read

1. Rex’s Vermeer

I wanted a Vermeer.

Here are (presumably) all of Vermeer’s paintings. But they look like photo thumbnails, right? We will get to that.

2. Steve’s Vermeer

Steve Wynn wanted a Vermeer.

Johannes Vermeer, “A Young Woman Seated at the Virginals,” c.1670.
“Christ and the Adulteress”

3. Tim’s Vermeer

Tim Jenison wanted a Vermeer.

Tim’s Vermeer (2013), was produced and directed by Penn and Teller, who are, of course, illusionists. This is foreshadowing!

I am a piece of human photographic film!

That’s better.

In this scene, Tim explains the magic of Vermeer:
“They called it ‘painting with light.’ But you can’t paint with light. You have to paint with paint.”

4. Felice’s Vermeer

Felice Ficherelli wanted a Vermeer.

  • Around 1655, a near-exact replica of that painting appeared.
On the left is Ficherelli’s “Saint Praxedis” (c. 1640). On the right is, maybe, Vermeer’s “Saint Praxedis” (1655). Why would Vermeer add the cross to the saint’s hands? Who knows!

5. Hermann’s Vermeer

Hermann Goering wanted a Vermeer.

These are the two Vermeers that Hitler stole — both considered masterpieces. On the left is “The Art of Painting” (c. 1666); on the right, “The Astronomer” (c. 1668).
Hitler’s right-hand man

His Vermeer is a fake!

The Amsterdam courtroom during the 1947 trial of master Vermeer forger Han van Meegeren.

He looked as if for the first time he had discovered there was evil in the world.

That’s it, I decided: This is the Vermeer for me.

American troops unpack “Christ and the Adulteress.” Although now identified as a forgery, the painting still has a significant fan base and is on display at Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam.

The Message

A Pandaemonium Revolver Collection.

The Message

A Pandaemonium Revolver Collection. Season 2 stars @anildash @alanalevinson @ftrain @hipstercrite @itsthebrandi @jamielaurenkeiles @vijithassar @yungrama @zeynep. Season 1 available on DVD shortly.

Rex Sorgatz

Written by

creative technologist, author, entrepreneur, designer, consultant

The Message

A Pandaemonium Revolver Collection. Season 2 stars @anildash @alanalevinson @ftrain @hipstercrite @itsthebrandi @jamielaurenkeiles @vijithassar @yungrama @zeynep. Season 1 available on DVD shortly.

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