wikipedia). The British artist David Hockney and others believe that Vermeer must have used a camera obscura, a precursor of a movie projector, to create his stunning effects.
The movie "Tim's Vermeer", shot by the magicians Penn & Teller, follows Tim Jenison (imdb). The documentary shows how the Texan engineer, software developer and inventor painted an exact copy of Vermeer´s "The Music Lesson" with the help of a self-constructed camera obscura and a mirror in order to prove Hockney´s thesis. VanityFair has a nice and long article about this project (vanityfair).
I liked the film a lot. I was impressed how stubbornly methodical and painstakingly Jenison realized his obsession. I also enjoyed the beauty of Vermeer´s paintings which fanned my appetite to see more of his work. The movie is highly recommended for art lovers and connoisseurs of well made documentaries.