Girl With a Pearl Earring
History and fiction merge seamlessly in Tracy Chevalier's luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Griet, the world of 1660s Holland comes dazzlingly alive in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings.
Chevalier has won a place in my heart and bookshelf. Her novels are well-crafted, sim...more
The short answer would be 'no'.
Now for the longer answer...
Chevalier is probably one of the best-known historical nov...more
But it's not a good sign when a book's most compelling moments revolve around two people grinding pigments. And, no: "Grinding pigments" is not a euphemism for artist-bangin'. It is, quite literally, referring to the detailed descriptions of how paint was ma...more
Griet has a first-rate mind, concealed in the body of - essentially - a peasant. This poor maid is the only person who truly understands Vermeer's work. The relationship she develops with the painter is satisfyin...more
Some of my thoughts as I read:
1. The society of the time classified everyone as a "have" or a "have not". For a girl who was in between it was a matter of time before she was forced to one side or the other. She never fit in either world.
2. Clearly this girl had a raw, undeveloped talent for art. Had she lived in a different century would she have been the artist instead of the muse? Her role w...more
The “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is a painting done by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, around 1665. Not much is known about Vermeer which gives Chevalier creative license to develop what I believe is an interesting story. The painting is currently on exhibition in New York, at the Frick Collection. The exhibition is scheduled to be there until January 19, 2014.
The story told in first person by Griet the protagonist starts in Delft (South Holland)...more
This is a book that fictionalizes what might have been behind the famous Vermeer painting, "Girl with a Pearl Earring". Griet's family is destitute, and now she must work as a maid in the Vermeer household, cleaning up the famous painter's workstation. Slowly, she grows more interested in her master, and her master in her.
I am not what you would call an artsy person. I make an effort to decorate my home nicely, I can pick out...more
Ever since I read The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant, I have loved books which involve art and artists. I don't claim to have much kn...more
My interest in art over the years was quite inconsistent and I started by liking the mod...more
Qualche tempo fa, su Sky Cinema andava ininterrotto in programmazione un film dall'enigmatico titolo, appunto quello del libro in questione (film e libro omonimi) e mia sorella rimaneva lì a guardarlo per tutte le ore ininterrotte. Da poco, sono passati quasi due anni da questa ipnosi cinematografica, ho chiesto a mia sorella che cosa abbia pensato del film che tanto intensamente guardava, aspettan...more
To date, I've read only one bad review of this slight novel, and a whole lot of excellent ones. I'm casting my vote on the excellent side. Chevalier took one of Vermeer's best-known and most enigmatic paintings and built a story around it (there are a series of these novels; Joyce Carol Oates' I Lock My Door Upon Myself is the only other one I've read, and it is similarly excellent). Griet, a sixteen-year-old from the Protestant side of th...more
My romance credentials are these: although I have never read a romance novel, I have seen the covers of romance novels. And I've also listened to people I know discuss romance novels. So with that it mind...
It struck me as cheesy in a Fabio r...more
This book was set in 17th century Delft and detailed the journey of Griet, a young woman who becomes a maid and, eventually, muse for the artist (who did exist) Vermeer.
The reason why I really liked this book is the extraordinary way Chevalier describes the ordinary: A trip to the butcher or a walk across the city is so beautifully detailed...more
I really have to give Chevalier credit. This book was easy to read and very engaging. I am a fan.
On a side note - the movie made from this (with Scarlett Johansonn and...more
Not a lot of depth, but an enjoyable story, and I'd probably read this author again.
The novel centres around her, and her relations with the others in the painter's household. She has an uneasy time with the other servant,...more
ETA: reviewed a couple of years ago, edited for elliptical communication March 2013.
I do feel that Chevalier is very good at conveying the right atmosphere for her novels. This is the second one I read and in both of them there's an artistic atmosphere, if you can call it that, and a great concern with describing not only the works of art involved but also the materials and techniques the characters use.
In this story...more
The style of this book is very subtle and effective. With attention to detail, the reader is methodically introduced to the culture of 17th century Holland. While we learn a little about the city, I think the main achievement is in helping us to understand how people th...more
And I enjoyed it, too. I was being a bit sceptical before, actually I only read it, so I could watch the movie afterwards, but I was surprised in a good way.
I was captured by the narrative pretty soon and it read very lightly, very easily. I was longing for such a book for some time. Reading it was as easy as watching TV, but still it was good literature and not a cheap action tome.
The first-person narrator was done very well, I thought, Griet is a composed and exact o...more
|Retro Chapter Chicks: August 2014: Girl with a Pearl Earring||12||10||Jul 20, 2014 07:20PM|
|Retro Chapter Chicks: Readers' Choice August 2014: Girl with a Pearl Earring||5||7||Jul 02, 2014 03:58PM|
|The Book Was Better: GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING||4||9||Apr 04, 2014 01:11PM|
19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.
Nerdy. Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading. Favorite authors back then: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L’Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. Book I would have taken to a desert island: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.