Adviser: Dr. Mary Jo McNamara
Vermeer’s Colors: Their Composition and Manufacture
Johannes Vermeer was a 17th-century Dutch artist who produced a relatively small number of works during his lifetime and was little known until after his death. His paintings have since gained incredible standing in the art history world, and now Vermeer is particularly celebrated for his use of light and color. Vermeer used a very small number of pigments; only about seventeen colors throughout all of his works. Most of these pigments are naturally derived from minerals or plants and each is unique. I will be researching the composition and manufacture of the pigments Vermeer used in order to gain a better understanding of how Vermeer’s colors affected his style. I will also be creating a museum exhibit with the purposes of displaying samples of the materials used in paint manufacture, explaining the methods by which paints were made, and presenting other information gained from my research. This exhibit will be open to SUNY Potsdam and the public.