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Prototyping with Vermeer

Imagine seeing the entire catalogue raisonné of an artist at once. What might you learn about the artist’s life and painting – favored motifs, density of projects, size of pieces? What if Picasso’s blue period could be pictured against the kaleidoscope of his surrounding other work?

Any quest requires the development of special skills. I am currently exploring approaches for visualizing an artist’s entire body of work. Before tackling some of the big guys who produced hundreds of works, I am experimenting with the paintings of Johannes Vermeer – my Dutch guinea pig. His body of 34 accepted paintings is the right size to quickly produce a neat little infographic:


Even this small gallery reveals the repeated arrangements of Vermeer’s subjects in the rooms of his house, evidenced by the common black and white floor and light pouring through from the window on the left side of his paintings. This Vermeer cartoon is a great start to my investigation of catalogue raisonnés, and I encourage anyone with more interest in Vermeer to see Essential Vermeer, an incredible website on the Delft artist (including lovely scaled versions of the paintings, in their frames).

Stay tuned for a similarly-themed, much bigger project that is already well under way!

Info We Trust is a data adventure exploring how to better humanize information. To learn more read the opening post hereThe creator, RJ Andrews, is an engineer and proud Northeastern University and MIT graduate. Please reach out through facebook, twitter @infowetrust, or the contact page.

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