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Girl with a Pearl Earring,Jan Vermeer Van Delft

This work is one of Vermeer's most famous works.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Johannes Vermeer
Oil on canvas
Circa 1665
44.5 x 39 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

It was voted the most beautiful painting in the Netherlands by the Dutch public in 2006 and has since gained international fame, even being called the "Mona Lisa of the North". In this work, Vermeer depicted a Dutch girl in an exotic dress, wrapped in an Eastern-style headscarf, with large a pearl earring on her ear.

She is half-turned, looking over her shoulder at the viewer, her fair face as bright as the moon, her lips red and slightly open as if she has a thousand words but cannot speak them. The red, yellow and blue colors match and contrast with each other, creating a multi-faceted character of a shy and bold, classical and modern girl in a dark background. The identity of the model is unknown, and in the absence of any historical records, the painting becomes more mysterious and confusing, therefore more attractive.


Although the background appears to be a dark shade of black from the viewer's perspective, according to the 1994 restoration, the background was originally designed by the artist as dark green-like enamel, an effect created by covering the black with a thin, transparent green glaze. This glaze has now faded over time to a color that is now very close to black.


The "pearl" highlighted in the painting is slightly too large for the whole painting, making it appear unrealistic. Some scholars have even suggested that the material of the earrings is not pearls but polished tin.

This painting is another work in the same pose as Girl with a Pearl Earring

Young Woman (practice)


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