I’m a fan of classic portrait painting, but the Girl With a Pearl Earring didn’t peak my interest until I saw the movie of the same name. This portrait is the work of Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer(1600s), which can currently be seen in person at The Hague (Holland).
The movie may be considered a “bio-pic”, but I believe it may be slanted a little to the fictional side. Essentially, you have a artist who’s family sees as no more than a pay check. “Go paint someone’s portly wife so we that we can buy something for the family. Something like food.” Meanwhile, the under appreciated Vermeer (Colin Firth) is visited by a lowly peasant girl played by a very understated Scarlett Johansson. The peasant girl sees the subtleties of colors, the intricacies of composition, and the playful nature of light. Her kindred attentiveness earned her a free portrait session with the man himself. “But wait, there’s something that would make a perfect accessory to your rags…”
“You should wear my wife’s expensive pearl earrings, said Vermeer.”
What could possibly go wrong?
Fiction or not, the movie tells the tale of any artist who finds himself sulking alone in the studio saying “nobody gets me”. Artists hear things others are deaf to — see things others are blind to. I highly recommend the movie Girl With a Pearl Earring.
Photographically, here’s the important insight I gleaned from all of this. Classic painters didn’t have multiple studio flashes (duh). In fact, in the 1600s they had no flashes at all (duh). Usually, they had only one big honkin window, and that’s exactly the style that I “bit off of” (slang for imitated) .
1 big soft box + 1 black background + 1 beautiful model = My Favorite Portrait CreationTo Date
Sometimes, simple is better. By the way, I’m curious to know which version you prefer?