Friday Morning Bookclub

August 11, 2010

The Girl with the Pearl Earring.

Filed under: The Girl with the Pearl Earing — janinefrier @ 8:18 am

This was a book, which our group read a number of years ago, yet I think it remains one of our favorites.  I remember us discussing how masterful Tracy Chevalier was, in her depiction of life in the mid 1600’s, which is when Vermeer painted this  masterpiece.  In the novel, Vermeer and Griet, a fictional servant in his house, strike up a relationship.  He hires her as an assistant and has her model for this painting, while wearing one of his wife’s pearl earrings.  Ms Chevalier creates for us, a possible scenario of the story about this beautiful girl.  In truth, the identity of the girl is a mystery. No matter what her background though, this painting draws one right in and has the viewer memorized.  Vermeer is known to be a true master of being able capture lighting so perfectly on the canvas, and this painting is his ultimate demonstration of that skill.

Well, dear readers, I can attest to that first hand.  I have just returned from a trip to Holland and an unexpected close up look, at this amazing painting.  One of our days was spent in The Hague, where I expected to see the various government buildings, palaces etc. What I was not expecting, was to come across the Mauritshuis Museum, which houses many of Vermeer’s works, including this very special one.  I had not done much pre-trip planning, so was not sure what other attractions there were to see in The Hague.  This was a wonderful surprise and treat.  And although her real identity may be unknown, I could not help thinking about the story of Griet and her life in Vermeer’s house, which “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” so vividly portrays.

Click here to learn more about Vermeer’s techniques used in this painting.  The picture is interactive and you can scroll over parts of it to learn more about each element.


1 Comment »

  1. I also loved The Girl With The Pearl Earring. How thrilling to see the actual painting! Love the interactive picture. What a wonderful way to learn.

    Comment by susanbright — August 11, 2010 @ 9:49 am | Reply

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