course: I Can See, chapter: Art Classes, page: 'the Girl with the Pearl Earring'

'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' ( your version)

What: a class assignment

'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' is a very well-known painting by Dutch artist Johannes VERMEER. Ask anyone in the street here and they know exactly which painting you are revering to; it is part of Dutch culture.
Recently there was a challenge on television 'Make your own interpretation of the girl with the pearl' and it was very popular with almost 150 entries.

>> Which paintings in your country have the same impact? And would it not be an interesting idea to make with your class your own artworks after these well-known paintings? The result can be a drawing, collage, selfie, dress, knitted, sculptured or even a dish or whatever your creativity flows to.
Present it in class, or as a class in school but even better exchange it with other schools where ever. How does that sound?

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'Girl With A Pearl Earring' (Dutch: Meisje met de parel) is an oil painting by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer, dated c. 1665



Cultural impact

The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum by Banksy, 2014 in Bristol Harbour

Some of the first literary treatments of the painting were in poems. For Yann Lovelock in his sestina, "Vermeer’s Head of a Girl", it is the occasion for exploring the interplay between imagined beauty interpreted on canvas and living experience. W. S. Di Piero reimagined how the "Girl with Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer" might look in the modern setting of Haight Street in San Francisco, while Marilyn Chandler McEntyre commented on the girl's private, self-possessed personality.

There have also been three fictional appearances. As La ragazza col turbante (Girl with a Turban, 1986), it features as the general title of Marta Morazzoni’s collection of five short novellas set in the Baroque era. In the course of the title story, a Dutch art dealer sells Vermeer’s painting to an eccentric Dane in the year 1658. Indifferent to women in real life, the two men can only respond to the idealization of the feminine in art. In the following decade, Iain McClure's 1996 BBC radio play 'Paint Her Well', takes inspiration from Vermeer's painting (and his life) in its story of a king searching for a woman he has painted, having dreamt about her. The mysterious young woman, ethereally beautiful, her large pearl earring catching light from the left, is otherwise in darkness. Tracy Chevalier's 1999 historical novel Girl with a Pearl Earring fictionalized the circumstances of the painting's creation. There, Vermeer becomes close to a servant whom he uses as an assistant and has sit for him as a model while wearing his wife's earrings. The novel was adapted into a 2003 film of the same name and a 2008 play.

The painting also appeared in the 2007 film St Trinian's, where a group of unruly schoolgirls steal it to raise funds to save their school. At that period, too, fellow artists made iconic use of Vermeer's painting. Ethiopian American Awol Erizku recreated it as a print in 2009, centering a young black woman and replacing the pearl earring with bamboo earrings as a commentary on the lack of black figures in museums and galleries. His piece is titled Girl with a Bamboo Earring. And in 2014 the English street artist Banksy reproduced the painting as a mural in Bristol, incorporating an alarm box in place of the pearl earring and calling the artwork Girl with a Pierced Eardrum.

A climate protestor representing the Just Stop Oil campaign attempted to glue his head to the glass protecting the painting in October 2022, and was covered in tomato soup by another protestor. The protest did not damage the painting, and three people were arrested for public violence against goods.

Much of this text is from:   Wikipedia

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