I have loved this painting from afar for many years now and finally, after much waiting I have finally come face to face with her,she it was totally captivating, I lost myself in her face and didnt want to leave her presence. It was all I imagined, I remember walking into the room, she was on my left, so could not see her immediatly, but when we did come face to face, I was quite overwhelmed and am open to admit that I did stiffle a tear…
Alas, im my abject horror, the only photograph of me standing next to the this glorious painting was deleted and have been unable to retrieve it from the nether, it was a very cold February evening, the lighting wasn’t great, so I did actually look really bad, so I guess it wasn’t such a bad thing after all! (however, I am still sad about it)
That being said,I was so happy to actually look upon the painting myself, I was quite surprsied that it was a quite small painting, I do not really know what I had expected to be honest as I had watched numerous documentaries on the painter Veermer.
I think my desire to see this painting was after watching the film ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ I loved Scarlet Johanssen in it and caught my fascination, I just wanted to see the real painting for itself. When something nicks my interest I like to do a little reasearch about it and found out that the film was based upon a book, of the same name written by Tracy Chevelier, click this link to find out more.
I think that I enjoyed all three of these mediums in the correct order, I watched the film, went to see he painting and then I read the book, I feel for me that was the best combination.
I have watched the film over and over again and love it with every watch, it is atmospheric and Scarlett Johanssons version of Griet the maid plays the role really well, Colin firth plays the painter Vermee , I think he was a good choice to cast him, I just do not think that there is much chemistry between them, like they are portrayed in the book.
I do feel that the atmosphere comes in waves from the wife and the general household, she is quite miserable, which is not surprising really, as she does seem to be constantly pregnant.
Vermmer was not a prolific painter and did not churn them out like some painters, he worked on each painting for months, when he finishes off his most recent work, they cellebrate with a sumptious feast.
In the book and the film, it comes about that Griet provides helpful towards Vermeer, mixing the paints and preparing things in his studio as well as doing all the household chores that she is meant to do and it transpires that he asks her to model for him, hence this picture.
Is there any underlying sexual tension, between thses two, resulting in him asking her to model, no I donot think so, My theory is that Vermeer appreciates her eye for detail, she appreciates the natural factors that alter a painting, for example, she is told to wash the windows, but questions, wether doing so would change the light mid painting.
I really do not think that they could have been anymore other than master and maid.
Reading this book and watching the film, really sparked by interest in painting and the art world that exsisted in that time, called ‘the Golden era’ there are really some marvelous paintings from this time, if you take the time discover them.
I defiantly want to visit the Mauritshaus again ,not only to gaze upon the painting again, but to appreciate all the wonders that are housed there.
Have you read the book or watched the film? Have you looked into the eyes of this girl in the painting and lost yourself in them?
If the answer is yes, then you are not alone!
Let me know in the comment section below and lets talk about her
TTFN and take care!