Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Art and Beauty Tuesday--Vermeer

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.


5 comments:

TACParent said...

I don't know why, but I think it looks like she is going to cry. Beautiful picture. (Second attempt at posting this ... if it shows up twice, I apologize.)

Dymphna said...

Its probably because her eyes are so reflective and prominent. It is a captivating picture.

kkollwitz said...

See the painting, then watch the movie!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335119/

Nice review here:

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031226/REVIEWS/312260301

Excerpt:

"In one flawless sequence, Griet is alone in Vermeer's studio and looks at the canvas he is working on, looks at what he is painting, looks back, looks forth, and then moves a chair away from a window. When he returns and sees what she has done, he studies the composition carefully and removes the chair from his painting. Eventually he has her move up to the attic, closer to his studio, where she can mix his paints, which she does very well."

Barbara said...

This is one of my favorite portraits. Somebody made a movie about this subject with the same title as the painting. I liked it.

Dymphna said...

I'm going to have to watch this movie now!

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