Mona Lisa of the North

One of my favorite baroque’s painters is one Dutch, Johannes Vermeer or Jan Vermeer  van Delft (1632-1675), in my opinion a genius of his time, a master of light. His paintings are games of light and shadows used on canvas with techniques used today in photography. The realistic of his paintings is remarkable, the colors are so alive, you almost can feel the insight of each character, allowing to the viewer to enter beyond the earthly texture of the painting. The scenes are in front of your eyes, after so many years, present, full of life and substance. You almost sense the air of that century, you become a part of the action. All Vermeer’s paintings are exquisite but, for me, one is a masterpiece.

The mysterious “girl with a pearl earring” is one of world’s most valuable paintings.  Those big, dreamy eyes, that hidden sensuality are creating an aura of mystery more powerful, I think, than the smile of Da Vinci’s Monalisa. The Nordic traits mixed with an exotic turban are making of this painting one of the most interesting creation of baroque period. Who is that girl? It is a question without answer yet. Some said she was the daughter of Vermeer but it was rejected this theory. At the time when this painting was made Maertge , Vermeer’s daughter, was just 11 years old.


Also a novel appeared in 1999 telling us an interesting story about how the painting was made. The fiction was written by Tracy Chevalier , an American  historical  novelist. The book “Girl with a Pearl Earring”   was a real success and in 2003, a movie with the same name, appeared on big screens. The girl with the earring, Griet, was interpreted by Scarlett Johansson.


“Girl with pearl earring” is named also “Monalisa of the North” because of its similarity of Renaissance’s masterpiece. But, in the same time, the difference is big because Vermeer’s painting gives us a character that seems to be alive, more sensual than Gioconda,  with a smile that hides more secrets.


À bientôt !