A closer look: 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Jan Vermeer
Like many great masterpieces, the oil painting 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' only really became famous after the death of its creator. The Dutch painter Jan Vermeer created the 45 x 40 cm small painting around 1665. 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' wears not only an exotic-looking earring, but is also very unusually decorated. The oriental-style robe and the headscarf wrapped around a turban indicate that Jan Vermeer dressed his model in the then-current Turkish fashion. It is still not known who exactly the person depicted is. Following the most recent literary and cinematic reception, 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' was employed as a maid at Vermeer and also supported her master in artistic matters. The painting derives its fundamental fascination from the straightforward design and openness of the person depicted: it turns her friendly face with large, alert eyes directly at the viewer. Her lips are slightly open and give the impression that 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' wants to say something - a design tool that was widely used in the Netherlands at the time. In order to focus on the main attraction of his work, the painter has dispensed with any additional elements in the picture. But even if it does not seem so, the background is designed: Jan Vermeer has picked up all the colors of his work and mixed them into a uniform gray-green. "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is now housed in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, Netherlands, and it is one of the most famous and recognizable paintings in the world. The painting has been the subject of numerous adaptations and reinterpretations in popular culture, including a bestselling novel and a feature film.