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Vermeer: Painting Analysis

Satisfactory Essays
Describe: In this painting, there is a woman looking over her shoulder. From this angle, one can see her large pearl earring and the blue and yellow cloths wrapped around her head. Her eyes look directly at the viewer.

Analyze: Due to the colors and the value added to the painting, the emphasis of the painting is the woman. The strong black background contrasts her colorful clothing and fair skin creating a great emphasis on her presence within the painting. Additionally, the value and texture that is added to her face and clothing creates a realistic illusion. Her clothes contain folds and wrinkles, while her face contains shading that allow the viewer to see its rounded shape, as the light seems to strike from the upper left corner of the image.
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However, I think the lack of emotion within the young woman’s eyes and face reveal her inner feelings of sadness and insecurity in her own identity. Her eyes appear to lack depth and her mouth shows no smile of joy. Perhaps Vermeer was attempting to create a painting in which many women could feel represented and understood. As a painter during a time when women were often working in homes for their families and husbands, I wonder if Vermeer was attempting to call attention to the struggles of women, even wealthy women.

Judgment: Since its creation in 1665, Girl with a Pearl Earring has remained a very popular and well known painting, therefore I believe it is a good piece of art. Its qualities of dramatic black and white contrast with colorful and eye-catching components draw the viewer into the painter. Also, its use of texture and value make the painting look as realistic as a photograph. The woman’s realistic appearance appeals to many viewers who support the imitation theory of art
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