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The Girl with a Pearl Earring

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Joined: 28 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:29 am    Post subject: The Girl with a Pearl Earring Reply with quote

The Girl with a Pearl Earring is considered as one of Johannes Vermeer's masterpiece and as a major painting of the 17th century. Vermeer was not a prolific painter. Most of his works are devoted to genre subjects, which are scenes from everyday life and Dutch's indoor activities.

This painting displays a young wide-eyed girl with an exotic turban. It seems that she is going to tell something because she slightly opens her mouth. She is looking over her shoulder, as if viewers have interrupted her.

Due to Vermeer's excellent skill in using light reflection, the young girl looks alive and she is drawing viewers into this painting, interrogating us with her eyes, outlining the immediacy of her presence. The dark background reinforces the immediacy and the presence, which make this painting timeless, immune to time or space. The background also highlights her face, as if there is nowhere and nothing else to look at. The young girl is a timeless beauty because of the ovals of her face, her youth, the softness and delicacy of her skin and the innocent eyes.

When it comes to the use of light, the work on light in this painting is remarkable. We can easily find the subtle balance of light and shadow. For example, the turban is enlivened by small highlights, primarily on the yellow part crossing over her head and at the bottom of the turban, behind her shoulders. Her face is another example. Her eyes are watery. There are two white dots painted on them, echoing the two small white dots painted on each side of her mouth, stressing the softness and delicacy of her skin. The collar and the pearl form a perfect balance. The collar is white in the middle of the painting, breaking the darkness of the background. It also reflects its light onto the pearl which reflects onto the girl's jaw in turn.

The pearl earring in this painting is very conspicuous. It symbolizes innocence. There is a lot more to say about this painting. Nobody knows who she is and speculations have abounded, which makes this painting mysterious and fantastic.
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