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Girl with a Pearl Earring. By: Mayar Elgeyoshi. Background Information: . The painter was Johannes Vermeer. He was born in October of 1632. He died in December of 1675. He was a Dutch genre painter who lived and worked in Delft. . Background Information:.

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girl with a pearl earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring

By: MayarElgeyoshi

background information
Background Information:
  • The painter was Johannes Vermeer.
  • He was born in October of 1632.
  • He died in December of 1675.
  • He was a Dutch genre painter who lived and worked in Delft.
background information1
Background Information:
  • Little is known for certain about Vermeer's life and career. He was born in 1632, the son of a silk worker with a taste for buying and selling art.
  • Vermeer himself was also active in the art trade.
  • He lived and worked in Delft all his life. Not much is known about Vermeer's apprenticeship as an artist either.
girl with a pearl earring1
Girl with a Pearl Earring:
  • “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is one of Vermeer’s most recognized masterpieces.
  • It is currently housed in The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, a city in the Netherlands.
  • In the past the painting has also been called ‘The Dutch Mona Lisa’ or ‘The Mona Lisa of the North’.
girl with a pearl earring2
Girl with a Pearl Earring:
  • Very little is known about Vermeer and his works and this painting is no exception.
  • It isn’t dated and it is unclear whether this work was commissioned, and if so, by whom.
  • In any case, it is probably not meant as a conventional portrait.
the earring
The Earring:
  • The focal point of the painting, as the name suggests, is the pearl earring.
  • Many of the women Vermeer painted are associated with pearls, as eleven other pearls of this kind appear in his works.
  • A strength of the painting is its use of light, illuminating the girls face and highlighting the earring.
  • Critics suggest that an earring of this type was unlikely to exist at this time, and it has been speculated that Vermeer painted the earring from imagination.
  • If this is in fact the case, then I think this shows Vermeer’s talent and capacity as an artist.
the turban
The Turban:
  • The turban worn by the girl, while at first seems out of place may not have been uncommon in the Netherlands at this time.
  • It has been noted that turbans were a popular fashion accessory as far back as the 15th century, and other aspects of the east are also present in some of Vermeer’s other works.
the background
The Background:
  • The background of the painting however, does strike the viewer as slightly different from Vermeer’s other paintings.
  • In most of his other paintings, the backgrounds are busy and full of life.
  • Apart from the main figure in each painting Vermeer often paints furniture, musical instruments, cooking utensils, rugs and carpets, curtains and perhaps even other figures besides the main focus.
  • In ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ however, it is evident that all of the artist’s focus is on the girl and of course, her earring.
who is she
Who is she?
  • The identity of the girl is the most debated about aspect of the painting, and there are many theories on the subject. I will outline the main ones:
  • Vermeer’s eldest daughter, Maria – this theory has come about because scholars believe that Vermeer’s daughter, born in 1654, would have been about the same age of the girl depicted in the painting.
  • The daughter of Vermeer’s principle commissioner – Vermeer’s main commissioner, Pieter Van Ruijven, had a daughter that would also fit the description of the girl in the painting and so is another suggestion as to the girl’s identity.
  • Griet, the servant girl – Although no historical evidence supports the idea that Vermeer’s servant girl posed for the painting, this ides has been developed recently in Tracy Chevalier’s novel and also by the popular film staring Scarlet Johansson in 2003.
important works
Important Works:
  • Diana and her Companions, 1655-56
  • Procuress, 1656
  • Girl Asleep at a Table, ca. 1657
  • Officer with a Laughing Girl, ca. 1655-60
  • The Music Lesson, 1662-65
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665-66
  • Allegory of the Art of Painting, ca. 1666-67
  • The Girl with a Pearl Earring