It’s day nineteen of our Culture Tourist Art Blogmas. And I’m sharing one of the most famous paintings in the world with you today, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Art Blogmas 2021

Although Johannes Vermeer is one of the most famous Dutch painters today, he wasn’t that well known during his lifetime. Vermeer wasn’t painting a lot, so we have only around 35 of his work preserved today. Girl with a Pearl Earring is absolutely his most famous painting.

⤷ Read more: Dutch Golden Age heritage sites in the Netherlands

Johannes Vermeer: Girl with a Pearl Earring

⤷ Where is it? Mauritshuis, The Hague

Vermeer created his famous artwork in 1665. Although it may seem so, this painting isn’t a portrait. It’s a tronie, the trendy genre in the Dutch Golden Age painting during the 17th century. It represents a person or a personality that could be recognised as universal or typical.

In this painting, Vermeer has painted a typical Dutch 17th-century young woman, wearing an oriental turban and an oversized pearl earring.

The colours Vermeer used in this painting are something quite special. He was the first Dutch painter to use a costly blue pigment called lapis lazuli on his paintings. It could be found only in the mountains of today’s Afghanistan. Researchers and art historians are still unsure where he was getting it from. Although black today, the background has initially been dark green. But, pigments changed over time.

The painting was bought at the auction in The Hague in 1881 for only two guilders and thirty cents. That would be around 24 euros today. The picture was in poor condition. The art collector who bought it had no children, so he left the painting to the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague after his death.

Read more: Johannes Vermeer’s paintings at the Rijksmuseum

If you don’t want to miss other paintings I will share with you in this year’s Art Blogmas, be sure to check in here tomorrow at 7:30 am. Or, follow along on the Culture Tourist Facebook page and Instagram profile.