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Ode to Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, 2012

Courtesy of JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY, New Orleans

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Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665. Oil on canvas. The Hague, 670.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of the most easily recognizable works in art history. Painted by Johannes Vermeer in 1665, it is not a portrait but rather a “tronie.” During the Dutch Golden Age of painting which occurred during the 17th century tronie were used as imaginative expressions by artists. The word “tronie” translates to “face” in Dutch, and works bearing the term are often portraits of invented characters in exotic dress or with idealized and exaggerated figures. Tronie offered technical practice for artists, who were not required to create a likeness of their sitter but who were instead free to explore the challenging effects of light or exaggerated facial expressions.

 

E2 refocuses their interpretation of Girl with a Pearl Earring on the idealized and outmoded representation of the “exotic” in Vermeer’s tronie. They present the viewer with a sitter of Asian heritage wearing a kimono similar to that shown in the original, but now presented in a culturally conscious setting.