This week's Art and Beauty Tuesday is Girl with a Pearl Earring by Dutch painter Jan Vermeer. Painted some time in the mid 1660's, the exact date is not known.
The pearl earring is used as the focal point of the painting and the young subject turns towards the viewer as if answering an unexpected summons. The yellow head scarf mimics hair, and matches well with her light eyebrows, while the blue turban picks up the blue at the end of her pony-tail-like head scarf.
In spite of the surface crackling, which gives it added interest and depth, the painting has an almost photographic quality in the realistic details. We feel as if we could easily recognize this young girl if we met her on the street and that a whole story can be seen in her eyes.
The tear shaped pearl is a large one, reflecting the light that also falls on her face, while sinking into the dark background on the other side. It seems as mysterious as its wearer, hiding its full beauty in the shadows.
From the angle we are given, her dress looks almost like a business jacket over a white blouse, adding to the painting's timeless, exotically modern look.