Girl with a Pearl Earring

Topics: Pigment, Painting, Johannes Vermeer Pages: 3 (846 words) Published: March 31, 2011
One of Johannes Vermeer’s mysterious artworks which are universally recognized is the Girl with a Pearl Earring. This piece of artwork still poses a few unanswered questions and wonders after more than a century of studies. The identity of the sitter in the portrait, who is she? What significance did the pearl earring have? When was the exact date of the painting?

Vermeer was born and raised in the Dutch town, Delft and began his genre paintings in the late 1650s. Although Vermeer produced only 36 paintings in his lifetime, he had a different approach to his artworks. Dutch paintings were very popular as it captures the everyday experiences and the affection of the land and homes in the town. Paintings celebrate and record the facts of life enhancing the intense consideration of warmth and cooler qualities of light. Vermeer adapted the expressive scenes taking on a timeless presence to impart them as extraordinary dignity and moral gravity. Girl with a Pearl Earring has been called as The Dutch Mona Lisa during the Golden Age. She is young, delicate and has an appealing and questioning look on her face with her head slightly turned towards us. She is wearing a rich golden robe with a white collar, a blue turban with yellow falling behind her. She is set against a dark defined background which dominates the space of the scene. Vermeer discovered the skill behind optics and light to capture what the audience sees. The uneven and spotted dark background enhance the three-dimensional effect of the figure as light illuminates something delicate which takes us to the pearl earring as a focal point. Pearls in the17th Century was a status symbol and conveys a sense of purity and innocence which together make a representation of a timeless beauty. Over many centuries, the young girl with sympathetic eyes starring over her shoulder holds no attributes that identify her and her age Vermeer is known for painting religious and mythological themes and the evident...
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