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Tim's Vermeer (2013)

2:05 | Trailer
Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.




Penn Jillette, Teller
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Jenison ... Self
Penn Jillette ... Self
Martin Mull ... Self
Philip Steadman Philip Steadman ... Self (as Prof. Philip Steadman)
David Hockney ... Self
Colin Blakemore Colin Blakemore ... Self
Leslie Jenison Leslie Jenison ... Self
Eric Armitage Eric Armitage ... Self
Daniëlle Lokin Daniëlle Lokin ... Self (as Daniélle Lokin)
Bob Groothuis Bob Groothuis ... Self
Ankie Bonnet Ankie Bonnet ... Self
Ruth Steadman Ruth Steadman ... Self
Mike Hayes Mike Hayes ... Self
Nicola Vigini Nicola Vigini ... Self
Graham Toms Graham Toms ... Self


Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Penn Jillette and Tim Jenison produced the movie themselves. See more »


Tim Jenison: There's also this modern idea that art and technology must never meet - you know, you go to school for technology or you go to school for art, but never for both... And in the Golden Age, they were one and the same person.
See more »


Smoke On The Water
Written by Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover amd Ritchie Blackmore
Performed by Tim Jenison
See more »

User Reviews

"It's like watching paint dry": visually stunning documentary
23 February 2014 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Tim's Vermeer" (2-13 release; 80 min.) brings the story of Tim Jenison, an inventor who has amassed a small fortune over his life time and now has become fascinated (obsessed may be the better word) with the 17th century Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer. Tim examines in particular Vermeer's painting "The Music Lesson", which has an astonishing amount of details in it. Tim eventually comes to the conclusion that Vermeer used a variety of optical devices (mirrors, camera obscura, lenses), and to test his theory, he decides to recreate "The Music Lesson" from scratch, even though he is not a skilled painter by any means. To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first, this documentary is made (and narrated) by Penn, he of Penn & Teller. Turns out that Penn and Tim have known each other for many years, and it's easy to see why this particular topic would have peaked Penn's interest enough to make it into a documentary. Second, the feeling of the documentary is pretty much one of a crime caper, in that we get to find out in detail how Tim goes about testing his various theories and his recreation of "The Music Lesson". Third, if you don't care for art, in particular painting, save yourself the trouble and catch another movie, as obviously the entire 'raison d'être' of the documentary is the making of a painting. At some point during his recreation of the painting, Tim gives an exhausted look towards the camera and sighs "it's like watching paint dry", much to the delight of the theater's crowd, which exploded in laughter. Last but not least, there is a nice soundtrack to this movie, composed by Conrad Pope and I've made a mental note to myself to check that out as well. (Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" plays over the documentary's closing credits, an obvious but nice choice.)

I saw this documentary this past weekend at the Landmark E Street Cinema and the early evening screening I saw this at was absolutely PACKED, which I think is great news. Facts always trump fiction, reason why I love a good documentary more than anything. If you are interested in art and you marvel at how Vermeer might've created some of his best work, you will absolutely love this. "Tim's Vermeer" is absolutely worth checking out, be it in the theater or on DVD. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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English | Dutch

Release Date:

17 January 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Vermeer's Edge See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,777, 2 February 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

High Delft Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs



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