‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ was painted in the year 1665 by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. This Oil on Canvas work is considered the first globally known masterpiece by the artist.
Most of Vermeer’s paintings was of domestic internal spaces, this painting being one of the few exceptions. This painting remained obscure for decades, it was only in the year 1882 that the painting was re-discovered. The painting is popularly known as the Dutch Monalisa because of her calm and elegant beauty perhaps.
There is a purity that the girl’s eyes exude, the turban type scarf which she has wrapped her head with makes this more sophisticated and beautiful. The turn of her head with her eyes towards the viewers adds to its charm and like many other paintings of Vermeer, this has an element of natural beauty running through it.
In the seventeenth century, pearls were a symbol of status and this was probably why Vermeer chose a pearl to adorn his model. The pearl has been featured in eight of Vermeer’s paintings, Woman with a Lute, Mistress and Her Maid, Woman with a Pearl Necklace, A Lady Writing, Girl with a Red Hat, The Concert, A Study of a Young Woman and Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid.
Although the model of this painting remains unknown, many consider that the model was Vermeer’s eldest daughter Maria who was about the same age as the model portrayed in the painting.
The colors used in the painting are simple yet soothing, this painting is similar to many other paintings of Vermeer with respect to his choice of colors. There is a sharp contrast between the dark and light colors used and its sincere appeal is sure to impress its viewers.