Girl With A Pearl Earring Theme Essay

The novel both recognizes the painting's historic and artistic intensity and monopolizes on that intensity to create a fascinating story of a young girl in a small city during a unique period of time.

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by Johannes Vermeer at The Frick Collection in New York City.

He strove for realism, going so far as to blend sand in his paints to create an accurate texture of bricks in the famous portrait of his hometown, "View of Delft." The most well-known departure from Vermeer's calculated paintings is the intriguing, mysterious subject of "Girl with a Pearl Earring," thought to be painted in 1665.

In the painting, a young woman, adorned in an unusual head wrap and wearing a prominent pearl-drop earring, turns to face the painter over her left shoulder – eyes sympathetic and slightly lowered, mouth demurely parted.

Taneke, the faithful servant to the grandmother, proves her protective loyalty by keeping a close eye on Griet's every move.

The artist himself, however, holds another view entirely of the young maid.Though her help is sorely needed, her beauty and innocence are both coveted and resented.Vermeer's wife Catharina, long banished from her husband's studio for her clumsiness and lack of genuine interest in art, is immediately wary of Griet, a visually talented girl who exhibits signs of artistic promise.Chevalier's account of the artistic process – from the grinding of paints to the inclusion and removal of background objects – lay at the core of the novel.Her inventive portrayal of this tumultuous time, when Protestantism began to dominate Catholicism and the growing bourgeoisie took the place of the Church as patrons of the arts, draws the reader into a lively, if little known, time and place in history.Initially intending to attend one semester abroad, she studied for a semester and never returned. After working as a literary editor for several years, Chevalier chose to pursue her own writing career and, in 1994, she graduated with a degree in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. The novel centers on Griet, the Protestant daughter of a Delft tile painter who lost his sight in a kiln accident.In order to bring income to her struggling family, Griet must work as a maid for a more financially sound family.Recognizing Griet's talents, Vermeer takes her on as his studio assistant and surreptitiously teaches her to grind paints and develop color palettes in the remote attic.Though reluctant to overstep her boundaries in the cagey Vermeer household, Griet is overjoyed both to work with her intriguing master and to lend some breath to her natural inclinations – colors and composition – neither of which she had ever been able to develop.


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