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All about Colors and Composition in Arts by Arnel Sarmiento

By Arnel Sarmiento

Unique paintings by means of Arnel G. Sarmiento

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I would meet with his sources; I would run down unfinished leads; I would post an updated website and investigate all and any new tips. My chances for success were undoubtedly slim. Smith hadn’t recovered the works, and what did I know about the art underworld? But I knew that Smith’s story—and the tale behind the lost masterpieces— needed to be told. I understood even then that the Gardner caper was like the seed of a fruit. It looked small and dirty, but then you planted it and it grew into something big and poignant, with deep roots and intricate blossoms, something beautiful and a little dangerous.

What’s clear, though, is that Vermeer’s life was troubled, filled with disappointments and debts. His wife gave birth to fifteen children, four of whom died young. He earned such little income that he and his family had to move in with his mother-in-law. In his early thirties, Vermeer was voted president of the local artists’ guild, but he never found much fame outside of his hometown of Delft. Part of the problem was that Vermeer was painfully meticulous, a complete perfectionist. He would spend months working on a single canvas, and he is believed to have completed no more than sixty artworks in his lifetime.

In one, he draws himself as angry—his forehead is down, his lips are pursed, his eyes flash and burn. Later, he shows himself shouting, frowning, sneering, a clown, a king, a jester. The stamp-sized etching ripped from the walls of the Gardner was part of this series, and in the work Rembrandt 036 Th e G a r d n e r H e i s t shows his face deep in cogitation. His mane of hair bristles in all directions, his eyes are perfectly black. He can see out, but you can’t see in. It is titled, simply, Self-Portrait.

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