He may be playing the 17th century painter VERMEER on the stage, but British star Colin Firth has no artistic talent himself.

The PRIDE AND PREJUDICE star is currently starring with KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS in the CHEKHOV play THREE SISTERS in London.

But while Firth appreciates his work, he reckons there's no way he could begin to imitate him.

He says, "You would give me a lifetime of lessons and I'd still never be able to produce a Vermeer. Luckily I just have to look like I can hold a paintbrush."

Firth adds that he travelled the world to research the painter's work.

He says, "His paintings are all over the world. (ADOLF) HITLER even had one. It's in Vienna and it's still got the NAZI swastika stamped on the back. Chilling."