Girl with Pearl Necklace, Vermeer

Girl with Pearl Necklace, Vermeer
Girl with Pearl Necklace, Vermeer

If we had to single out a painter as the artist of women, it would undoubtedly be Vermeer; the works of the baroque master stand out for presenting a singular feminine beauty that attaches importance to every detail and takes maximum care of feminine features. Vermeer's work has been highly valued throughout history thanks to its realism and detail, every detail is important in the painter's canvases, but also for the delicacy and finesse of his representations.


Johannes Vermeer van Delft (1632 – 1675) also known as Joannis van der Meer or simply as Vermeer is one of the most important artistic figures of the Dutch Baroque school. At this time the Netherlands enjoyed great social, economic and political prestige, an environment that facilitated cultural flourishing in the area. Undoubtedly, Vermeer's life is one of the most mysterious in the history of art and perhaps for this reason one of the most sensational among experts. Very few reliable data are known about the artist, not even his date or place of birth is known for sure and we do not have data about his training either.

The scant number of his works preserved –barely thirty-three or thirty-five canvases- lead us to suppose that the artist must have workedbased on commissions, a fact that speaks to us of a good social position that allowed him to have we althy clients who paid a good sum for his canvases. However, it seems that in the last years of his life the artist was able to go through some hardships that forced him to auction some of the canvases that he kept for himself.

The work that concerns us here, Girl with a pearl necklace, is a small painting painted in oil on canvas that is barely fifty-five centimeters high and just over forty-five wide. In him we can see a young woman carefully putting on a pearl necklace. The scene takes place inside a house – something very common in the work of this Baroque artist – with light coming in from a small window, leaving part of the room in shadow; we must not forget that light effects are one of the favorite characteristics of baroque aesthetics.

Apparently the canvas does not show a very deep iconography but if we analyze the elements that make it up we can verify that it is not really like that. The young woman's clothesseem to hide a prominentpregnant belly, perhaps the young woman is getting ready to await the arrival of her lover, her imminent arrival is warned in the note that rests on the corner of the table. On the other hand, the colored light that passes through the stained glass window speaks to us of purity and temperance, an antagonistic reading that was very popular at the time.

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