When Art Begins to Imitate Art

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was a famous Dutch Baroque period artist who died at a veritable young age of 43 years; but managed to produce 34 quality paintings during his short career. Vermeer was known to paint slowly, touching and polishing up and fine-tuning each and every picture. His subjects were subtle, quiet and often depicted typical household activities, such as:

  • A woman standing at a window writing a letter,
  • A lady dozing off in the afternoon, or
  • A cavalier’s jokes making his girlfriend laugh.

These are all commonplace subjects, but Vermer rendered them beautifully and perfectly, so that art lovers have been in awe of his paintings for almost 400 years.

  • The Girl with a Pearl Earring was supposed to be a study – the type of painting an artist dashed off as an exercise.
  • However, it is now considered a major masterpiece; and at the heart of it is the earring he made, with just two brush strokes and that small flash of white in the pearl picks up the white of the woman’s collar, the clarity of the whites of her eyes and the flecks of white in the turban.
  • No one is sure who the girl is, but no one can take their eyes off the pearl earring.

Modern day interpretations of The Girl with a Pearl Earring have been converted into a fictional story by Tracy Chevalier, which was later translated to a movie directed by Peter Webber; with a soundtack by the French film composer Alexandre Desplat.

  • Also depicted is a chalk artist aka ‘chalky’ version who has replicated this piece, as seen above.

All I can say is,
Seen this, read that,
Heard it and viewed it,
The Girl with a Pearl Earring – Just Simply Love It!

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