Visitors view painting Girl with a Pearl Earring part of the Mauritshuis collection
© Ivo Hoektra via Mauritshuis Den Haag
Category:Dutch masters

See the Girl with a Pearl Earring

The 'Girl with the Pearl Earring', also referred to as the 'Mona Lisa of the Low Countries', is one of the most famous paintings in the Netherlands. Check out this masterpiece by Johannes Vermeer with your very own eyes at the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

  • The original sale price of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ was 1 euro.
  • Discover why Vermeer is also known as the ‘Master of light’.
  • Stand face to face with the 'Mona Lisa of the Low Countries'.

Today Girl with a Pearl Earring may be one of the most valuable and famous paintings in the world. In 1881 it was sold for around 1 euro. At an auction in The Hague, no one knew it as a Vermeer and it was acquired by an art connoisseur called Mr. des Tombe.

The signature was revealed during restoration work and the painting was found to be a real Vermeer, which the painter created around 1665. After his death, Des Tombe was found to have a secret testament, donating twelve paintings including ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ to the Mauritshuis.

Who was the Girl with a Pearl Earring?

It will be a mystery forever since the painting is not a portrait but rather a so-called tronie, a fantasy or stock character. While no one has ever been able to identify Vermeer’s tronies, there is a rumour that his daughter Maria, who was twelve or thirteen years old at the time, may have been his model. No one really knows for sure …

Master of light

The highlights on her lips, the gleaming pearl that consists of just two brushstrokes: Vermeer was a magician with light in his paintings. He let the light fall from different angles and was able, better than any other artist, to bring his works to life.

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