Kelly's Reviews > Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
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Jun 19, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, 20th-century-postwar-to-late, theonewithacrushontheprofessor
Recommended for: art history geeks
Read in January, 2004

I wrote a paper on artistic expression using Girl with a Pearl Earring as a source, since it is a painting, a movie, and a book. It provided me fascinating fodder, a really good read, and a good grade on my paper. This is a wonderful study in repression and tiny details. There are some beautiful passages. I absolutely love the study done of the character of Vermeer. At one point, a character tells Griet (the imagined Girl with a Pearl Earring) to be careful, since Vermeer does not see her, but rather the painting that she will make. The artist sees the world only as paintings, not as people. This is shown as incredibly selfish. He loves only those things that fit into his sense of light and shape and color and tone. He has no interest in that which does not add to his work.

And it is for one reason only I will say that the movie was better than the book: that we are able to see his imaginings in front of him, rather than have them described. The movie was an endless series of portraits in motion, and a huge motif and focus on Vermeer's eyes. Colin Firth is known for his ability to play the quiet loner (see: Mr. Darcy) and it's brilliantly done here. Well cast, director. Well shot. It's one of my favorite movies. I do warn that it is incredibly quiet and intimate, and not a lot happens. Many people may be bored by it. But I think if you read this book in the first place you're the kind of person to like the movie.
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10/16/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Hannah Daniels hey there.I'm new here and dont know how to use this. i am trying to read this book and it won't work. Could you please help me? Thanks


Jacque I checked out both the book and the movie from the library. I almost abandoned the book, but it got better and I was able to finish and enjoy some aspects of it. Based on your recommendation, I will watch the movie.


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