David Watkin’s thoughts on Light and Vermeer

“I think it is terribly pretentious for people who are cinematographers to go around and say they looked at a painting by such and such a bod. Nothing irritated me more than, when I was doing Catch-22, Mike Nichols said I want it to look like Andrew Wyeth, that sort of thing is a red rag to a Bull for me. Anyhow it just so happened that I had been up to Kenwood House one Sunday and in Kenwood House there is a Vermeer… I like Vermeer very much. And looking at that and seeing the calm and beauty of it and realising all the light was coming from the window – there was nothing else. And all the rest of the light in the picture was reflected back from that light coming through the window. And this stayed in my mind. It is the only time I have been influenced by a painting”

Interview with John Legard and Alan Lawson 1994.


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