The girl with the glass earring

With a captivating gaze, he looks into our eyes. She doesn’t challenge us because she actually barely looks at us, turning to us and showing us only three quarters of her face. She wears a turban that gives her an exotic air, but what catches her attention the most is the sparkle of her earring, which glows against the black background that surrounds her. It is this accessory that has baptized her for many years, in the absence of specific biographical data that allow historians to name her; she is the girl with the pearl earring. We all know her by this name and hers is one of the most famous faces in the world, however, from a new exhibition by Johannes Vermeer, author of this acclaimed portrait, new investigations have questioned the relevance of the title she bears today.

IN FEBRUARY THIS YEAR, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam announced with great fanfare the opening of a new retrospective exhibition of Vermeer, one of the most recognized artists in the Netherlands and, without a doubt, one of the greatest exponents of the Dutch Baroque. The news caused expectation and emotion in the global artistic field, since it is not just any sample, but a truly exceptional milestone: it brings together 28 works, making it the largest exhibition of the Delft painter ever mounted. In other words, never have so many Vermeer paintings been seen together. This achievement, of course, has generated a new interest in his work —by itself widely disseminated and studied—, which has caused specialists to deepen and question everything that until now we had taken for granted about the work of the great master of the light.

The new studies and findings within the framework of the great exhibition focus, as is to be expected, on his most outstanding works, among which is the so-called the pearl girl either The girl with the pearl earring. Painted around the year 1665, it is today one of the most famous works of art in history. For sample purposes, it is among the six most viewed pieces on the Google Arts & Culture platform, with an average of 1.5 million visits per year —a figure only surpassed by the Mona Lisaof Da Vinci, the Sistine Chapelby Michelangelo and The starry Night, by Van Gogh. His current fame is largely due to the novel written by Tracy Chevalier and brought to the big screen in 2003 with Scarlett Johansson as Vermeer’s anonymous model. Despite having worldwide recognition, there are still many mysteries around it.

To begin with, it has not been possible to identify the portrayed; While some suppose that she must have been the artist’s eldest daughter, María, others propose that she was one of his servants, who often appear in his work carrying out daily domestic chores. The confidence and intimacy that her face reflects makes me personally prefer the first theory, but nothing is set in stone —yet. The other great mystery has to do with its title and that is where the gaze of the Rijksmuseum curators has focused.

The truth is that it is still fascinating to find new data on works that we have seen over and over again.

DURING CENTURIES, The girl with the pearl earring It was not only a practically unknown painting; nor was its author known for sure. It passed from hand to hand as the work of an anonymous painter and even in the 19th century it sold for less than the current value of a pound sterling. Finally, in 1903 he arrived at the Royal Gallery of Mauritshuis Paintings in The Hague, where he currently resides. It was there that, in 1995, it was baptized with its current title, after decades of being known as The girl with the turban. Now one of the curators of the Rijksmuseum, Pieter Roelofs, has brought to light the doubts that have circulated about the famous pearl that hangs from his ear: he proposes in the catalog of the great retrospective that it could be a blown glass earring, coming from Venice.

Although it is a painting created in what is known as the golden age of Dutch painting, Vermeer was not a very prominent painter in his lifetime. With hindsight this is very hard to believe: simply consider that as of the publication date of this supplement, tickets for his exhibition at the Rijksmuseum are already sold out, despite the fact that the show is closed until June. But in reality Vermeer spent most of his career struggling to make a living from his work. In other words, if he was not a painter who enjoyed much recognition in his time, he was much less able to position his work at a good price and, therefore, it would be difficult for him to have afforded the purchase of a pearl of the dimensions that can be seen in his chart. In the documentation consulted by Roelofs, it is stated that a pearl probably smaller than the one observed in the portrait was sold in London for 500 pounds in 1632; in accordance with The Art Newspaperr, this amount would be equivalent to one hundred thousand current pounds.

For many it may be insignificant to know whether or not Vermeer was able to buy such a large pearl to adorn his model, ultimately that face will continue to captivate his viewers no matter what material the earring was made of. The truth is that it is still fascinating to find new data on works that we have seen over and over again, because they bring us a little closer to the context of his production.

Knowing that the earring was probably made of glass made to resemble a pearl suggests that there is a hint of aspirationism in the famous work, to put it in current terms. This may sound like a joke, but analyzing fashion trends through these paintings allows us to better understand the social and economic dynamics of that time. As for Vermeer himself, he reminds us that, despite crowding museum halls today, he was a painter on the fringes, with numerous offspring to support (he had fifteen children, although four are assumed to have died in infancy). . That makes him a little more human and tragic, a little less heroic. I don’t know about you, but those are the stories I prefer to read and that’s why I’ll stick with the title The girl with the glass earring.

Source link

Elton Gardner

Elton Gardner is a seasoned writer and editor for D1SoftballNews.com. He is a graduate of a prestigious journalism school and has contributed to numerous newspapers and magazines. Elton is an expert in various fields, including sports, entertainment, and technology. He is widely respected for his insights and engaging writing style. As an editor, Elton oversees a team of writers and ensures the website stays current with the latest trends and breaking news. His writing is characterized by its depth, clarity, and accessibility. Elton's spare time is spent with his family, playing sports, reading, and traveling to explore new cultures. With his talent, experience, and dedication, Elton Gardner is a prominent figure in online media and will continue to make waves in the years to come.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button