Museums and Art

The painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring". Artist Jan Vermeer

The painting

Girl with a Pearl Earring - Jan Vermeer. 44.5 x 39 cm

The portrait shows a beautiful and mysterious girl painted by no less mysterious Dutch painter Jan Vermeer. Biographers and art historians still conduct research, discussions and debates about the life and work of this mysterious and talented Dutchman.

And the popularity of his “Girls with a Pearl Earring” can be compared with the fame of the famous Gioconda Leonardo da Vinci. Who is this young, pure creature, why has it been capturing eyes for more than three centuries, fading on the canvas, on these bottomless eyes, a delicate oval, an unusual headdress and, of course, on the famous earring?

But, alas, no one will already know this secret, only filmmakers and writers have room for creativity and imagination when creating works on this topic.

The main interesting points associated with this portrait


  • 1. He is referred to as the so-called throne portrait. This is a genre painting in which the artist draws his models shoulder-length or waist-high, usually this is done in the workshop and the models are most often anonymous, and the paintings go without a name.

    So, for example, during the census of Vermeer's property, this portrait was called “The Girl in the Turban” and simply “The Girl's Face”. Also, throne portraits must necessarily have some peculiarity - unusual clothes (in our case, an exotic turban), an unusual object (for example, a bird or, as in Vermeer's work - a pearl earring).

  • 2. Who is depicted in the portrait? Researchers of Vermeer's life put forward several versions - daughter, wife, servant, mistress. Perhaps we will not guess, because this is still a mystery. The main thing is that the image is inspired by the love of the author, and the viewer feels it very well.
  • 3. Unusual, contrasting black background. When conducting research it turned out that initially the girl’s head was surrounded by green color - deep and glossy. Imagine how beautiful the face of a young beauty looked on such a chic background, emphasizing the special tenderness, warmth and velvety skin.
  • 4. Pearl earring. Around this jewelry is still no, no, and there are serious discussions. They argue that this is not a pearl at all, because such a huge natural pearl does not exist in nature, and rather looks like a metal ball, since glare-reflections are visible in the upper and lower parts of the earring. It is possible that this, for example, is a silver jewelry or cheap Italian coated glass.

Most likely, the author specifically depicted the decoration exaggeratedly large, to create an artistic effect.

But the point is also that, as mentioned above, the picture was not originally called “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. The portrait did not have a name at all, not counting those that were conditionally appropriated during property inventories.

By the end of the 20th century, when the painting was restored after restoration, it turned out that Vermeer with light pink brush strokes made a slight flare in the corner of his mouth, as a result of which, he managed to convey the juicy lip gloss of the young model so realistically.

The eyes of the girl are unique. From what point would you not look at the portrait, always her mesmerizing, sensual, and at the same time open and kind look will be directed at you.

This work is not quite typical of the artist’s painting style, and in the selection of colors and in the choice of the model itself, there is also no main difference between Vermeer - the image of interior items that he always carefully painted.

Also, there is an assumption that the master painted a portrait using a technical device - a pinhole camera. Thanks to it, you can get an optical image, although a little blurry. But even if the artist used it, this does not detract from his genius, but only adds a sort of Vermeer "zest" to the drawing and he becomes recognizable.

This work of Jan Vermeer is the personification, and one might even say, a hymn to youth, youth, just beginning to flourish, so timid and not fully aware of its future beauty and strength. A girl with a pearl earring has long been separated from her creator and lives her life.

You can look at a picture for an infinitely long time, invent and think out its life story, build all kinds of guesses and still move away from it with some special mood, with a sense of the unsolved mystery of its mystery.


Watch the video: Portrait oil painting demonstration, Vermeers Girl with a Pearl Earring. (November 2021).