Narrated by Steve Martin, VERMEER, BEYOND TIME focuses on both Vermeer's work and his family life, covering his conversion to Catholicism, his artistic contemporaries, and the short-lived Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century. Vermeer died suddenly in 1675. Overwhelmed by poverty, physically weakened and humiliated, he died at the age of 45. Soon afterwards, his paintings were sold to cover his debts, and Vermeer disappeared from memory. His rediscovery some 200 years later, however, has seen his... [see more] popularity soar, claiming both our hearts and our admiration. The film examines his individual paintings and teases out what has come to be known as the Vermeer style — the representation of light, the interplay of color, and the effects of perspective across places and objects. Vermeer's paintings depict a world inhabited by refined and cultivated women, respectful or troublesome servants, charming young people and learned men. His ruthless elimination of objects and other details that serve no purpose results in images that suspend time and leave viewers wanting to know more. The documentary adds much to our understanding and knowledge of the painter, while still allowing for the mystery and allure of his art.