The famous painting The Girl with a Pearl Earring is also known as The Girl with a Turban. It was created by Johannes Vermeer in 17th century Delft, Netherlands. Vermeer, who was ignored for over two centuries after his death, is the third important representative in the field of Dutch painting of the seventeenth-century. As a result, we do not know much about this Dutch artist nor his paintings until recently he was rediscovered and is now regarded as one of the best Dutch painters.
Netherlands in the seventeenth century plays a special role in the history of European art. Girl with a Pearl Earring was painted during the 1660s among Warmer’s other paintings like a lady standing at a virginal, girl with the red hat and so on. It is one of the masterpieces of Vermeer. It shows something mystery and especially left us the question “Who is that girl?” When we are looking at her in the painting, we will wonder why she is wearing a pearl earring and what about the turban. And we also want to know that what she was thinking about when the artist was painting.
Girl with a Pearl Earring is a small painting, not much bigger than the octavo paper. The oil paints have been crack and it looks like a seemingly insignificant small painting, but makes many men of letters and linger on without any thought of leaving. It is the protagonist of the painting that shock them —- the girl with a Pearl Earring. We have no idea about who she is. Some people guess that the girl might be the daughter of Vermeer, but it is denied soon because the girl’s age and date of the painting do not fit.
A glimpse of her in the painting seems to suck the soul of the viewers. In this painting, Vermeer uses full black background, which makes a very strong three-dimensional effect. The black background makes the girl beaming just like a light in the dark. She sideways and turns to us staring with lips slightly open, as if to tell us something. Her flashing eyes reveal ardent feelings and head slightly tilting to the left, as if lost in thoughts.
The charm of Mona Lisa lies in her mystery; no one knows why this woman has such a quiet smile. And this piece of work has the same mystery. A summary of Girl with a Pearl Earring from Tracey Chevalier is as follow: Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a 16-year-old Dutch girl who is a maid in the house of Johannes Vermeer. Because of her calm and perceptive manner she becomes part of her master’s work.