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Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist, Scholastic Inc. ISBN 0-439-37294-1 HC

“When a book of unexplainable occurrences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen:  seemingly unrelated events connect, an eccentric old woman seeks their company, an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears.  Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal.  As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth they must draw on their powers of intuition, their skills at problem solving, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has left even the FBI baffled?” – http://scholastic.ca/titles/chasingvermeer/


Scholastic Arts November 1997. Vol. 28, No.1 Published by Scholastic Inc. under the direction of the National Gallery of Art.  (See sample page here - pdf file)

Time Magazine: “Up For Grabs” by Richard Lacayo, p.82-83 – A shocking theft puts museums on notice: No treasure is truly safe. Sept. 6, 2004.  http://time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,689471,00.html


Girl With a Pearl Earring

Starring: Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson, Judy Parfitt, more credits
Directed By: Peter Webber
Released By: Lions Gate Films                                                                                     
Theatrical Release Date: 12/12/2003    DVD Release Date: 05/04/2004
Run Time: 99 min.
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13  
Family Rating: Click for Common Sense Media information

Synopsis: “A young housemaid becomes an unlikely protege of Dutch Masters painter Johannes Vermeer. As she becomes the subject of one of his greatest works, ...” - Moviephone

“You wouldn't think a movie could look like a Vermeer painting, but Girl with a Pearl Earring is filmed with an amazing range of luminous glows that evoke the Dutch artist's masterworks.” – Amazon.com


www.metmuseum.org – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

http://adifferentplace.org/vermeer.htm  - A Different Place: ... a place on the Web
to find differentiated activities in all content areas!!

http://ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/vermeer/ - WebMuseum: Vermeer, Jan

http://essentialvermeer.20m.com/museum_pages.htm  -website for museums with Vermeer collections around the world


Portrait Quiz


Rosemarie O’Neill, Principal  



Mrs. L. Langsner, Art Teacher





  1. How do we know the element of “light” was important to Vermeer?




  1. Why are Vermeer paintings referred to as “genre” painting?



  1. Do you feel the art mediums, charcoal and chalk, were a wise choice for this lesson? Explain why.



  1. Describe the characteristics of a Vermeer painting.



  1. Which Vermeer portraits do you feel were the most successful?  Why?




Bonus: 1. Name two Vermeer paintings we have studied and describe what you have learned about each one.



            2. What is “camera obscura”?



3. Name two other famous Dutch artists and tell which was a contemporary of Vermeer.






Image Credits  

 Read student book reviews:
bulletStudent 1
bulletStudent 2


Use this Scholastic guide to Chasing Vermeer to familiarize yourself with the novel, and find discussion points to use with students.

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