Paintings Around The World

Johannes Vermeer, Dutch painter who painted ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’

‘Girl with a pearl earring’ Painted by Johannas Vermeer dated to 1665

‘Girl with a pearl earring’ Painted by Johannas Vermeer dated to 1665

‘The Girl with a Pearl Earring’ was painted by Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch painter. Vermeer was born 1632 in Delft, Netherlands. Throughout Vermeer’s life he painted women completing chores as subjects for the painting.

The painting tells a story of a 16-year old Dutch girl who became a maid in the Vermeer’s house. It is believed that Vermeer drew inspiration from art instead of real life. In the 17th century, Dutch girls wouldn’t normally be seen wearing a turban; artist like Vermeer would introduce the exotic note into their works. Critics believe that Vermeer drew inspiration from the painting ‘A Boy Wearing a Turban Holding a Nosegay’ painted by Michael Sweerts. Sweerts’s painting is dated to around 1656-1665, a whole 10 years before Vermeer painted ‘The Girl with a Pearl Earring’.

The pearl earring on the girl is only painted with 2 strokes of paint to compose the pearl. The pearl has a highlight of white and a soft reflection of the light from her collar. It is widely accepted that the pearl is an imitation pearl.

Vermeer’s ‘The Girl with a Pearl Earring’ wasn’t known to the public until around 1881, where it appeared up for auction. The auction is where Arnoldus Andries des Tombe bought the painting. The price of the painting if estimated to be 2 guilders (Netherlands form of currency) with a 30 cent premium.

The painting of the ‘Girl with a pearl earring’ is a great example of the golden Dutch age of paintings. Vermeers use of colors and lighting through out the painting helps bring that age to life.

The ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ can be found at the Mauritshuis Collection in the Hague, Netherlands.