“Girl with a Pearl Earring”
by Johannes Vermeer
Although Johannes Vermeer painted many exceptional paintings one of them has become an icon of his work. In circa. 1665 he painted a young girl in a traditional Turkish costume. The painting is oil on canvas and measures 44.5cm (17.5 in) x 39 cm (15in). It is signed as ‘IV Meer’, and was not dated.
Classified as a tronie, a type of work common in the Dutch Golden Age of painting that depicts an exaggerated or characteristic facial expression, the painting has had many names.
‘Tronie – painted in the Turkish fashion’
‘Tronie – Portrait in Antique Costume’ – listed at a sale of the painting in 1696
‘Girl in Turban’
From 1995 – ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earring’
The earring in question has also been a subject of great debate. Vincent Icke, a Dutch astrophysicist, said that the earing looks more like polished tin because of the reflection. Some people take things too far! It is made of paint and therefore the artist tried his best to create an earring with the materials at hand. It could also have been a slip of the brush when he was painting the collar. The truth will never be known. I see it as a floating entity made of a white paint speck that is not even connected to the ear in any way. The main focus should be on the young girl’s face which Vermeer captured perfectly and enhanced it with a black background. The reason for the popularity is based on the fact that nobody knows who the girl is or even if she is real. It could all be just a figment of the artist’s imagination.