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On Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” @GRAM'S

It is that time of the year again at GRAM’S where our students embark on another learning journey to discover another famous painting, study its art techniques and pay homage to a well-known artist. This year, we decided on Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer.

As our young artists were discovering the intricacies of self-portraits in our previous themed classes, painting the Girl with a Pearl Earring on canvas was the perfect follow through.

Johannes Vermeer – A master in light & shadow effects

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter. Many of his known works are paintings focusing on one or two figures, usually in an indoor setting, looking away, simply capturing a day-to-day moment with the beauty of light and shadow effects like photography.

Like Mona Lisa by Vincent Van Gogh, the identity of the girl in the portrait is unknown to this day. This was uncommon in those days as normally, only the rich and famous could afford to have their portraits painted.

There were three things from the painting that intrigue the children and me:

(1) How the girl was dressed (the Turkish headscarf and top of dress) hinted the era that it was painted in;

(2) The pearl earring – that is precisely why the painting is named “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and it was what most of the children were drawn to. Modern art critics doubt the pearl earring was real because it would be unusual in that era for an unknown woman to have a pearl earring of that size in her possession;

(3) Her body language – you cannot be sure if she is either walking away or towards you. In the 1600s, painters would usually do frontal self-portraits, unlike this painting.

Let’s hear what our young artists have to say about the painting!

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