Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of the most famous but one of the least scholarly works of art history. We consider this painting that the great master Johannes Vermeer made in 1665, one of the most successful pieces of his period today. Of course, the mysterious subject of the picture and popular culture also affect this. However, this girl with a mysterious pearl earring, which was transferred to canvas centuries ago, still lives thanks to Vermeer’s master brush strokes.
Holland’s Golden Age
Vermeer painted The Girl with a Pearl Earring in a period that is today in the Dutch Golden Age. Northern artists, who enthusiastically love and embrace the Baroque movement, have improved themselves on light interaction and formed this artistic period’s main characteristics.
The dark background was widespread in period portraits, just like the Girl with a Pearl Earring. This dark color adds a more dramatic and striking atmosphere to work. Thus, the figure to be the focal point, the Girl with a Pearl Earring, becomes the only focal point for this work. Even in Girl with a Pearl Earring, we feel that Vermeer’s intense expressiveness will reach out from the painting and touch the figure.
The Mystery of the Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring’s focal point is a young girl posing slightly sideways and wearing a pearl earring. Although there has been some debate among art historians for many years about that girl’s identity, we still have no definite answer. However, until today, the mysterious Girl with a Pearl Earring painting has sparked many rumors. Those also significantly increased the popularity of the work.
We can see that the female figure depicted in The Girl with a Pearl Earring does not have a very high-quality dress for its period. The Girl with a Pearl Earring doesn’t have the social and economic status that would allow her to have the pearl earring she wore. Still, he posed for the painter with this earring. However, it is still a mystery who was the person who gave this pose.
The Eyes Full of Life
The Girl with a Pearl Earring, pictured against a dark background, looks directly at the viewer with her white skin and yellow cap. The painter used the darkness of the environment by using yellow in the figure’s clothing and title. Thanks to this preference, it is impossible for Girl with a Pearl Earring not to be the focal point. Vermeer emphasized the use of yellow by making Girl with a Pearl Earring blue (the opposite of yellow) and created an expressive composition. Like all of the artist’s works, Girl with a Pearl Earring has a simple but striking design.
The most striking detail about Girl with a Pearl Earring after her famous earring is undoubtedly her eyes. Eyes that look so full of life allow this painting to establish a direct connection with its audience. Beyond a powerful and realistic depiction, Girl with a Pearl Earring’s eyes has not lost their life energy even after a very long time of its portrayal. Today, those who visit him in Mauritshuis, the Netherlands, can witness the same vitality.