Thursday, September 2, 2010

Picture of the day: Girl with a Pearl Earring

Another painting, by Johannes (Jan) Vermeer, one of my favorite painters.  There are only about 30 known paintings by this Dutch artist, and a few years ago, I started on a - maybe silly - quest of seeing every single one of them.
Well, this one, I made a huge detour to see it.  In 2004 I was driving with my family, all the way from Paris, France, to Kiel, Germany, where we would embark on the ferry to Oslo, Norway.  We did a considerable detour and went by The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands, just to see IRL this wonderful painting in Mauritshuis. 
(We got to see another Vermeer painting as well, but I'll show you that one in a later post.)
This one is called "Girl with a pearl earring" or "Girl with turban", and it is painted around 1665.   There is lots of mystery about it.  Almost all of Vermeer's paintings have background, but here, the portrait of the girl stands out from the total darkness behind her.  Why? Who is she?  Why is she wearing a turban?
I just love this painting, for its beauty, its mystery and its stillness.


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