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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fashion influence on Infamous Portrait: "Girl With a Pearl Earring"

"Girl with a Pearl Earring" is a painting by Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer. Considered as Vermeer's masterpiece, it is often referred to as the Dutch Mona Lisa. The painting has even inspired a movie in 2003 starring Charlotte Johansson and is frequently used in ad campaigns and fashion magazines all over the world. Originally titled "Girl with a Turban", it was later changed in the  second half of the twentieth century. 

What is it about this painting that sets it apart from all other portraits? What is it about this particular painting that we find beautiful? First, lets think about where our eyes naturally focus. The eye begins at the pearl earring, and forms an invisible triangle, connected from the pearl to the mouth, then the eye, and back again to the pearl. Hence, the reason for the change in title, the focal point is cleary the pearl and not the turban. Notice the feminity in her lips, and the softness in her eyes, which is all off set by the pearl. Her profile has capture the same softness and glow as the earring she wears.  

                   A pair of my favorite teardrop pearl earrings.
Personally, I cannot tell you enough how every girl must own at least one pair of pearl earrings. Pearls are unique to the gemstone, and inherently adopt a soft glow without being overtly bright. They add instant grace, feminity, and beauty that instantly enhances your existing beauty. 

The girl in this painting is believed to be Vermeer's eldest daughter, Maria, who was about twelve or thirteen-years-old at the time it was created. Her facial features appear in several of Vermeer's works but his various techniques on his subject make it difficult to compare the female faces in his paintings, as the woman are portrayed in different lighting conditions and poses.

The turban being worn in this painting was a popular prop at the time and its elaborate folds and rich materials were a great way of showing off the artists' skill and injecting color to capture a mood or character.
The turban also demonstrates the influence of other countries. Various slaves came to the Netherlands and explorers would bring new exotic artifacts and inventions.

                      2003 Movie "Girl With a Pearl Earring"

            Photo Campaigns Inspired by "Girl With a Pearl Earring"

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