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Girl With the Pearl Earring

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch Baroque Period painter during the 1600s. He focused on domestic interior scenes of middle-class life and was seen as one of greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. He was also known for his impeccable use of light in his work, which was created with a lot of time and expensive pigments. Researchers assume that he most likely made around sixty paintings, but only thirty-six of which are known of today. His father worked as an innkeeper and art dealer, which introduced him to renowned artists. 

One of his most renowned pieces is Girl With the Pearl Earring. The woman depicted in this portrait may have been inspired by a person, but her identity is unknown. The art is part of the category of tronie, which shows exaggerated faces. 

The Netherlands in the 17th century was a period of time when the working class began to revolt against the aristocracy. During this period, many wealthy citizens traveled to other countries, which meant that artists didn’t receive as many jobs. Many historians assume that the ambiguity of the woman reflects her low status, and the pearl is her claim of wealth. Other art experts think that the woman is a symbol of a society with a diversity of cultures. Her earring represents status, wealth, and the beauty of the unknown. The clothing shows that she isn’t from the West, so some scholars believe that she symbolized the intermixing between the West and East because of trade routes. 

However, other art historians hypothesized that the portrait may have been of someone with a close relationship with Vermeer. Some suggested that it might have been Vermeer’s oldest daughter, however, there is no real evidence that supported this claim. There has also been a theory that the painting depicted a romantic partner named Griet, who became Vermeer’s mistress after being the family’s maid.

Vermeer’s skills displayed an ambiguity and drove viewers to become curious. He raised strong feelings in anyone who witnessed his art, which makes a great artist.

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