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"Girl with a Pearl Earring"

By Jan Vermeer


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Considered to be the 'Mona Lisa of the North,' Girl with a Pearl Earring is world renowned, it's painter also famed through his innovative interest and skill in painting. Jan Vemeer Van Delft finished this tronie in 1665. Through explorers the Dutch were becoming more exposed to exotic inventions from around the world, and as Vemeer took great interest in the techniques of camera obscura, he became a master of chiaroscuro. As seen in Girl with a Pearl Earring, he also used his resources to advance in his artistic abilities as the clothe drapes and folds in many forms, so Vemeer is able to establish his greatness in technique. The young girl within the masterpiece is said to be Vemeer's daughter. Dressed in a turban (not at all common for girls in that time), she turns her head at the calling of her name. With eyes wide, and lips parted, she awaits in anticipation at your word. In 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' we also note Jan Vemeer's signature ultramarine in the girl's turban, at the nap of her neck, and in the end of clothe hanging from the sitter. Different shades of orches are used to shade the face, creating skilled depth and definition. Note also the black background (the artist first used a green ochre that would later accentuate the yellow and brown ochres in the skin). This background was common in that time for Dutch artists who used it to establish ease in creating more of third dimensional realist portrait. The final coat of paint is thin, to create the appearance of movement in the garment. However so simple, yet so captivating is the light which gleams on the girl's ones pearl earring, skillfully painted in only two quick strokes.

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