Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” Coming to the US!

If you haven’t read Tracy Chevalier’s novel “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” perhaps you have seen the eponymous film.  Or perhaps you have been residing under a large rock.  Well, here is our (because I want to see it too!) opportunity to see the painting that inspired them both.

Not much is known about the painting, other than that it was painted by Johannes Vermeer.  We don’t even know the year he painted it (circa 1665) and whether or not it was commissioned, though recent evidence seems to suggest it is meant to be a “tronie,” which is a Dutch term for a painting of a head not meant to be a portrait.  Intriguing.

The painting now gleams after the 1994 restoration work:

Photo source:

The restoration work indicated that the background was meant to be a deep green, but that the background darkened significantly over time.

The exhibit, “Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis,” features 35 important paintings by Dutch Golden Age masters including Vermeer, Rembrandt, Fans Hals and Jan Steen and will be stopping in the United States first at the de Young Museum in San Francisco from January 26 to June 2, 2013.  Then the paintings will next go to Atlanta’s High Museum of Art from June 22, 2013 through September 29, 2013.  From there it will make its last stop at The Frick Collection in New York City from October 13, 2013 to January 12, 2014.  After that they will make their way back to the newly renovated Mauritshuis in the Netherlands.

Other paintings in the collection include: Johannes Vermeer, “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” ca. 1665, Carel Fabritius, “Goldfinch,” 1654, Rembrandt van Rijn, “‘Tronie’ of a Man with a Feathered Beret,” ca. 1635, Jan Steen, “The Way You Hear It, Is The Way You Sing It,” ca. 1665, Jacob van Ruisdael, “View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds,” 1670–1675.

I don’t know about you, but I intend to move heaven and earth (or maybe it will just take moving my car) in order to see this exhibition!

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