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Meisje in hyacintblauw by Susan Vreeland
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Meisje in hyacintblauw (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Susan Vreeland, Wim Holleman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,489722,453 (3.6)131
Ik hou van deze vorm.
Soms vraag je je bij een oud voorwerp of een oude boom af wat dat/die allemaal heeft 'meegemaakt'. Susan Vreeland heeft een mogelijkheid beschreven. En dan juist met een voorwerp dat mensen echt wat doet; dat ontstaan is door mensen voor mensen.
Is het een fictief schilderij, of is het verhaal geïnspireerd op 'meisje met waterkan'? (gezien voorwerpen die beschreven worden, een schilderij met duidelijk aquamarijn, de goudbruine haren. De kleur van de ogen en tijdstip van maken kloppen dan niet)
Het valt me op dat de verhalen vooral niet gaan over de welgestelden, terwijl het schilderij toch vaak wordt gekocht door hen.

Ik vraag me af hoe het boek zou lezen als je achterin zou beginnen en dus chronologisch voorwaarts gaat. Is dan de spanning er af waar het schilderij vandaan komt, of is de onbekende volgende bestemming even interressant? Herlezen geeft niet hetzelfde effect, vanwege voorkennis. Ik denk dat het ontstaan van het schilderij inderdaad achterin hoort, het (nu)eerste verhaal zou dan een afknapper zijn.

wat Susan Vreeland zelf schrijft:Likewise, paintings, especially those with people, affect me the same way and feed my imagination. Who sat as model for the artist? What was their relationship? Did any urge for physical intimacy pass between them or was their coming together at this moment in time merely a business transaction? Was there a deeper aesthetic collaboration? Was the painter sick with dread over how he would feed his family? What did his children want from him that day? Was his wife happy? Was he? Was he contented with his work? And for landscapes, what moved the artist so deeply that this particular place could serve as his illahee, the Chinook word meaning land that gives comfort?

Poring over the National Gallery catalog of the 1995-1996 Vermeer exhibition, I found tranquillity. His paintings of women in their homes caught in a reflective moment, and bathed in that lovely honey-colored light which also touched with significance the carefully chosen items in the scene, reminded me of Wordsworth's line: "...with an eye made quiet by the power/of harmony and the deep power of joy,/We see into the life of things." In Vermeer I saw my same reverence for artifacts and items made by someone unknown to him. It seemed not far different from being a person upon whom nothing was lost. Vermeer, I believe, was a lover of the connotations and qualities of things in his own domestic life--the luminous variations of pale colors in a hand-dipped window-pane, a woman's silk jacket with fur trim, the rough nap of a red Turkish carpet, the strong lines of a golden pitcher, a hand-drawn wall map. These items seemed to be offered to me for narrative purposes.

Looking at many Dutch paintings--genre scenes, portraits, and landscapes--I felt a growing love for a people and a place I could call mine. By virtue of my Dutch name, all those brave Dutchmen fending off flood on their fragile, sunken land were my kinsmen. But those complaisant matrons admiring their jewels, married to ship captains trading in African souls were my kinswomen too. A girl Vermeer painted crouching on a swept Delft street with her orange skirt ballooning out behind her like a pumpkin could have been me in another age. I felt Dutch. These paintings showed me my heritage alive with vitality and history and the endurance of beauty. The cords of connection tightened.

Vermeer painted only thirty-five or thirty-six canvases. There could have been one more, I reasoned, which survived the ravages of time. I constructed in my mind another painting incorporating elements he frequently used and added objects of my own imagination--a glass of milk left by a sickly child, a sewing basket, a young girl's new black shoes with square gold buckles. I had a painting--and with news reports of so much art stolen from Holocaust victims by members of the Third Reich, I had an idea for a story.

Not having fully realized the painting in that first story, I wrote another, this time from the point of view of the painted girl dressed in a blue smock, in my mind, Vermeer's daughter who longed to paint. That would set the second story in the 1660s. They were to be a pair of stories set into a collection of stories about many artists, historic and fictional. My writing group prompted me further: "Nice stories, Susan, but there's a lot of time in between. Can't you do something with it?" The pair of stories became bookends to Girl in Hycinth Blue, a novel about people who lived their defining moments in the presence of a beautiful painting. It launched me into a new life. I am humbled with gratitude. I hope that by writing art-related fiction, I might bring readers who may not recognize the enriching and uplifting power of art to the realization that it can serve them as it has so richly served me.

With the world so full of a number of paintings, I think I could go on and on until I meet the artists face to face. Oh, I do think it's the pleasantest thing ever a writer can do.
bron:
http://www.svreeland.com/bio.html

-------------------------------------------------​ ( )
  EMS_24 | Apr 19, 2012 |
Showing 1-25 of 72 (next | show all)
Have you ever wondered what story a painting might tell if it could speak? This book tells such a story, but rather than writing one narrative the author gives us several brief glimpses of an imaginary Vermeer painting through the centuries in seemingly unconnected short stories.

I thought this was a fascinating read, beautifully and vividly written, about the effect a work of art has on people and the emotions it evokes. My only complaint would be that I wanted more than just a snapshot of the different storylines, but, having said that, the book felt rather more substantial and satisfying than a mere 180 pages would suggest. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Really? In comparison to "Girl With a Pearl Earring" this book was sorely lacking, we never really got to know any of the characters, the first 2/3 was tragic, the characters seemed to be quite secondary to the story Painting itself.... Even the story of the painting's provenance was boring.....
I read this while taking a break from my cleaning, but I just did not enjoy it, in fact I didn't even care about the characters. The least Vreeland might have done (or the publisher) was to put the painting in question on the cover of the book.... But oh no, I had to Google it....
I'm seriously thinking that I'll not read another of Vreeland's books, I do not like being disappointed in my reading selections, which is why I've cut back on my cookbook reviews.... I want to read about characters who engage my curiosity, who have redeeming qualities, who are not boring... and I want the books I read to be the same..... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
The front cover of this book features a painting by Dutch master Jan Vermeer called ‘The Painter in his Studio’. In it we see the back of a painter, brush in hand, studying a young girl in blue, holding a book, who stands by a window. This real painting was the inspiration for the story.
Scene-by-scene the story takes you back in time, following through the centuries the owners of the painting which author Susan Vreeland imagines Vermeer was painting . First, we meet a maths master who has a secret. A painting, inherited from his father, which came to him in the Second World War. The painting is passed from owner to owner, sometimes as an inheritance or gift, sometimes as payment of a debt, sometimes stolen. Vreeland tells us the story of each owner, what the painting meant to them and how it affected their lives: for some it means quick money, or guilt, or beauty, or a hidden secret. Effectively this is a series of short stories, linked by the painting.
It is a charming tale, set mostly in the Holland of dykes, poverty and farms. The painting illuminates the lives of everyone who owns it, no matter how briefly. A charming story about how a painting is viewed differently by everyone who sees it, starting with the artist’s intentions as he conceives and executes it. Vermeer says: “A man has time for only a certain number of paintings in his lifetime… He’d better choose them prudently.”
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Oct 30, 2015 |
I spent much of my childhood in museums. My mother was one of those rather obsessive tourist who thinks she will meet some monstrous fate if she does not see every museum and place where Paul preached. And God bless her for it, well, at least for the museum part. After several of the Pauline sites I finally rebelled and refused to go to Phillipi, instead staying at the hotel and reading Nancy
Drew. What a little Philistine I was. But the museums! I have been in love with paintings from such a young age that this was a book meant for me.

Several people have noted that
the book makes us think about art and its realtionship
to our lives. Yes it does, and beautifully. But this is not something that I need a book to remind me of. It is that which make this book a comfortable fit. What took my breath away was the reminder to really see
the people in our lives, appreciate them fully, accept the gifts of who they are whether workaholic, silent girls, tiny foundlings. Cherish them, hold tight in your memory their essence, their look, their .... You get the idea.
One of my favorite characters, a father and husband
says it best when watching his daughter in the first throes of
love, noticing the lovely color of her windburned cheeks
"Notice. Pay attention. Notice this and never forget it."
This morning took the time to savor my little girl's hug and the smell of her hair, a sunny warm scent mixed with the scent of the blueberry muffins we had baked for breakfast.

Vreeland tells the painting's story with simple elegance. Certain parts I wanted never to end, especially the
story of Saskia and her family. Vreeland paints pictures with her words that are poignant and vivid. She is never heavy-handed, always the perfect delicate touch.
With seeming artlessness she achieves artistry. Beautiful.

Incidentally, many people have said this book reminded them
of The Red Violin* of which I know nothing. However, it
did remind me of Iain Pears "The Instance of the Fingerpost,"
a much longer and more unsettling book that I also love. The multiple view points is probably the reason

*I have since seen The Red Violin, and here is remarkable similarity in theme and plotting. A riveting, lovely movie. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
I spent much of my childhood in museums. My mother was one of those rather obsessive tourist who thinks she will meet some monstrous fate if she does not see every museum and place where Paul preached. And God bless her for it, well, at least for the museum part. After several of the Pauline sites I finally rebelled and refused to go to Phillipi, instead staying at the hotel and reading Nancy
Drew. What a little Philistine I was. But the museums! I have been in love with paintings from such a young age that this was a book meant for me.

Several people have noted that
the book makes us think about art and its realtionship
to our lives. Yes it does, and beautifully. But this is not something that I need a book to remind me of. It is that which make this book a comfortable fit. What took my breath away was the reminder to really see
the people in our lives, appreciate them fully, accept the gifts of who they are whether workaholic, silent girls, tiny foundlings. Cherish them, hold tight in your memory their essence, their look, their .... You get the idea.
One of my favorite characters, a father and husband
says it best when watching his daughter in the first throes of
love, noticing the lovely color of her windburned cheeks
"Notice. Pay attention. Notice this and never forget it."
This morning took the time to savor my little girl's hug and the smell of her hair, a sunny warm scent mixed with the scent of the blueberry muffins we had baked for breakfast.

Vreeland tells the painting's story with simple elegance. Certain parts I wanted never to end, especially the
story of Saskia and her family. Vreeland paints pictures with her words that are poignant and vivid. She is never heavy-handed, always the perfect delicate touch.
With seeming artlessness she achieves artistry. Beautiful.

Incidentally, many people have said this book reminded them
of The Red Violin* of which I know nothing. However, it
did remind me of Iain Pears "The Instance of the Fingerpost,"
a much longer and more unsettling book that I also love. The multiple view points is probably the reason

*I have since seen The Red Violin, and here is remarkable similarity in theme and plotting. A riveting, lovely movie. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
I spent much of my childhood in museums. My mother was one of those rather obsessive tourist who thinks she will meet some monstrous fate if she does not see every museum and place where Paul preached. And God bless her for it, well, at least for the museum part. After several of the Pauline sites I finally rebelled and refused to go to Phillipi, instead staying at the hotel and reading Nancy
Drew. What a little Philistine I was. But the museums! I have been in love with paintings from such a young age that this was a book meant for me.

Several people have noted that
the book makes us think about art and its realtionship
to our lives. Yes it does, and beautifully. But this is not something that I need a book to remind me of. It is that which make this book a comfortable fit. What took my breath away was the reminder to really see
the people in our lives, appreciate them fully, accept the gifts of who they are whether workaholic, silent girls, tiny foundlings. Cherish them, hold tight in your memory their essence, their look, their .... You get the idea.
One of my favorite characters, a father and husband
says it best when watching his daughter in the first throes of
love, noticing the lovely color of her windburned cheeks
"Notice. Pay attention. Notice this and never forget it."
This morning took the time to savor my little girl's hug and the smell of her hair, a sunny warm scent mixed with the scent of the blueberry muffins we had baked for breakfast.

Vreeland tells the painting's story with simple elegance. Certain parts I wanted never to end, especially the
story of Saskia and her family. Vreeland paints pictures with her words that are poignant and vivid. She is never heavy-handed, always the perfect delicate touch.
With seeming artlessness she achieves artistry. Beautiful.

Incidentally, many people have said this book reminded them
of The Red Violin* of which I know nothing. However, it
did remind me of Iain Pears "The Instance of the Fingerpost,"
a much longer and more unsettling book that I also love. The multiple view points is probably the reason

*I have since seen The Red Violin, and here is remarkable similarity in theme and plotting. A riveting, lovely movie. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
This is a story about the importance of art. For some, it has a life-changing impact that touches something in the viewer. For others, the life-changing impact comes from art as an investment. And for others, it is the history behind the art itself that is life-changing. A painting of a girl in hyacinth blue is the centerpiece of these inter-connected stories that trace its provenance back through time to its creation. Well written; a great story. ( )
  LynnB | Aug 15, 2015 |
A nice and comforting read. Vreeland brilliantly captures the beauty in paintings with a keen eye. ( )
  novewong | Jul 8, 2015 |
quick read that stays with you long after you're done - evocative vignettes about the power of art on the people whose lives were touched by a certain piece, and interesting lessons in the techniques and motivations of the artist - especially interesting in that so many of the people interpreted the art differently, even though it was "just" a portrait and therefore may not seem to be as subject to interpretation as would abstract art seem to be ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
I liked the style using reverse chronology in this book. While it seemed like a series of essays or stories, the common thread of the painting held it all together. I love Vermeer's work, so this book prompted me to get out one of my Vermeer references and review my favorite paintings. It was also fun to look for the ones mentioned in the book. ( )
  LadyoftheLodge | Feb 7, 2015 |
This was a lovely and evocative story. The tale traces the life of a painting by Vermeer, from its present-day hide-a-way as a painful yet beloved reminder of a father's Nazi past, to the love of the daughter who posed for the painting. Although the story and, indeed, the painting itself, is fiction, the vignettes ring true with the cares of everyday life graced by an appreciation of the painting's beauty. ( )
  wareagle78 | Mar 21, 2014 |
to go backwards in time with the painting might be an interesting idea but it's not easy for listeners. i never like time travel in books, especially audio, i like everything to go from a-z. ( )
  mahallett | Mar 9, 2014 |
This book was not what I was expecting. It turned out to be a series of what were essentially vignettes going progessively back in time following the owners of a (supposed) Vermeer painting. Each chapter was therefore completely new characters, with the only commonality being the painting itself. I was hoping for a more traditional novel and this format did not hold my interest. I never felt compelled to move on to the next chapter, and so I just stopped reading it partway through. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Wonderful look at a piece of art and its history. Makes one wonder about the "history" of any particular piece of art or antique. If you enjoy this book, check out the movie "The Red Violin" - another "history". Loved the writing style. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 16, 2013 |
I want something fluffy that can stand up to interruptions. This was in the used bookstore and I can leave it for my notstepmother when I leave.

This might not be as fluffy as I thought.

Because of their subject and close publication dates I associated this with Girl with a Pearl Earring, which I love, and thought this was the fluffier. Nope. The prose is lovely, the characters alive despite minimal description, the stories true. Love! ( )
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
Girl in Hyacinth Blue follows the path of a painting, possibly by Vermeer, from an aloof math professor backwards to the painter and the subject. Each owner has a different story to tell, and even a little bit of a different relationship to the painting, but they all love it and find echoes of something they feel inside themselves inside the painting. And isn't that sort of the point of truly great art?

The novel itself has the feel of a short story collection. Each chapter is about a different owner and is a complete story unto itself. The novel never feels choppy though. But--the writing. Beautiful. It lived up to the painting that I painted inside my head. I truly saw the landscapes Susan Vreeland paints with her words and I truly felt involved with each character's story.

If you love beautiful language, or you love beautiful art, read this book. It's just gorgeous. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
I bought this book at least four years ago--before I was on Goodreads. This means all I had to go on was the back cover copy, a quick read of the first page, and an excellent visual presentation. I should have read the reviews before beginning the book--it was not a good morning to start off with a story about the holocaust, even if it was well written and short.

As it turns out, the book is a series of short stories tracing the provenance of a mysterious Vermeer. Questions raised in each story are answered further down the line as the history is traced back to when the painting was done. Some of the stories are better than others, but it was ultimately a quick and enjoyable read. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
A fictionalization of the provenance of a Vermeer painting. Interesting, though a timeline would have been helpful. A bit sad as the painting only really changes hands in tough circumstances- someone needs money to survive, and repeat. ( )
  wwrawson | Mar 31, 2013 |
A secretive college professor invites a colleague to his home to view a hidden painting; one that he says is an original oil painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. How the present owner came into possession of the painting and whether it was an original or reproduction were questions which bother the visitor. In a series of vignettes, the painting itself moves back in time, revealing to the readers who were the owners of the painting and how the painting affected their lives.

Intriguing in the beginning, the story line wears a bit thin by the end. So much so, that by the time I got to the painter himself and the true life subject of the painting, I was much less interested in the novel. I would have much preferred to go deeper into some of the stories at the beginning of the book, particularly the opening story.
1 vote SqueakyChu | Dec 21, 2012 |
First published on Booking in Heels.

I'm going to start this review by talking about a different book, as you do. So, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Adored it. Even the film had Colin Firth in, so it goes without saying that I loved that too. However, Girl in Hyacinth Blue is very, very similar and just as good. As easy as it would be to mutter about Susan Vreeland's plagiarism, it's simply not true. Both books were released in the same year, 1999, and so should definitely be judged as separate entities. I'm only mentioning it because of the sheer amount of accusatory reviews I've read about this one. So back off! :)

Ironically enough, the first pages of this novel discuss the imitations of paintings, and this does feel like an copy of Girl with a Pearl Earring. I know we've already established that it's not, but I have to mention that it really did feel the same. Both revolve around a painting by Johannes Vermeer, although the one in question in this story is actually fictional. The tones are eerily similar - if someone told me tomorrow that both Tracy Chevalier and Susan Vreeland went to the same writing class, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. However, the composition is completely different - while the former wrote a straight-forward work of historical fiction, Ms Vreeland almost tells her story backwards.

It starts with an Art teacher being invited to view a painting that hangs in the private collection of a Maths teacher colleague. Upon arrival, he finds a painting that looks exactly like those of Johannes Vermeer and is stunned when the owner tells him that, in fact, it is. However, the novella really begins when he is asked how he came to own this painting, as it's a very complicated and twisty turn of events.

Each chapter is almost like a short story, dealing with a different family and different owners. Starting at the end, with the Maths teacher, the reader learns how the painting changed hands so many times, right up to the end where we learn of its composition and subject. It's a clever idea and it works very well - I found myself making little noises of appreciation as I learnt how the owners in the previous chapter came across the painting.

What I loved about this book the most, was how every single owner felt a different way about the painting. I'm not sure if you can see from the book cover above, but it's basically a girl in a blue dress looking out a window with an unfinished piece of sewing work on her lap. What's clever is how her expression can be, and is, interpreted many different ways. One owner loves the painting because she thinks the subject likes to be quiet and thoughtful, like herself. She relates to it and wishes her family would accept her as she is. Another owner, conversely, decides the girl is waiting for a kiss and bought it because it reminded him of a past love. I guess I never really thought about how one girl in one painting can be desperate, vacant, thoughtful, depressed, or anything else depending on who happens to view it.

The one thing that bothered me is that the whole book is back-to-front, which is fine, but it's not consistent. It continues in this way right until the last two chapters, which feature Vermeer deciding to paint it, and then the events after his death. In that order. It suddenly started going forward again and it didn't make a whole lot of sense. I really liked the whole 'backwards' idea, but why change it at the end?

Anyway. I was hooked on Girl in Hyacinth Blue from the third page, as the two men gaze upon the painting. I've never really understood art or studied it beyond a few brief lessons in school, but this book really brings the passion of those who do to life. I almost felt myself falling in love with this fictional painting myself.

This is a beautiful book with wonderful imagery and a small insight into Dutch history and culture. I honestly think this would make an excellent film itself and I really can't recommended it enough. I'm not usually a short story fan, but there was enough consistency and linkage to keep me hooked. I read this in a day and I'm now looking for anything else written by Susan Vreeland. ( )
  generalkala | Jun 13, 2012 |
Ik hou van deze vorm.
Soms vraag je je bij een oud voorwerp of een oude boom af wat dat/die allemaal heeft 'meegemaakt'. Susan Vreeland heeft een mogelijkheid beschreven. En dan juist met een voorwerp dat mensen echt wat doet; dat ontstaan is door mensen voor mensen.
Is het een fictief schilderij, of is het verhaal geïnspireerd op 'meisje met waterkan'? (gezien voorwerpen die beschreven worden, een schilderij met duidelijk aquamarijn, de goudbruine haren. De kleur van de ogen en tijdstip van maken kloppen dan niet)
Het valt me op dat de verhalen vooral niet gaan over de welgestelden, terwijl het schilderij toch vaak wordt gekocht door hen.

Ik vraag me af hoe het boek zou lezen als je achterin zou beginnen en dus chronologisch voorwaarts gaat. Is dan de spanning er af waar het schilderij vandaan komt, of is de onbekende volgende bestemming even interressant? Herlezen geeft niet hetzelfde effect, vanwege voorkennis. Ik denk dat het ontstaan van het schilderij inderdaad achterin hoort, het (nu)eerste verhaal zou dan een afknapper zijn.

wat Susan Vreeland zelf schrijft:Likewise, paintings, especially those with people, affect me the same way and feed my imagination. Who sat as model for the artist? What was their relationship? Did any urge for physical intimacy pass between them or was their coming together at this moment in time merely a business transaction? Was there a deeper aesthetic collaboration? Was the painter sick with dread over how he would feed his family? What did his children want from him that day? Was his wife happy? Was he? Was he contented with his work? And for landscapes, what moved the artist so deeply that this particular place could serve as his illahee, the Chinook word meaning land that gives comfort?

Poring over the National Gallery catalog of the 1995-1996 Vermeer exhibition, I found tranquillity. His paintings of women in their homes caught in a reflective moment, and bathed in that lovely honey-colored light which also touched with significance the carefully chosen items in the scene, reminded me of Wordsworth's line: "...with an eye made quiet by the power/of harmony and the deep power of joy,/We see into the life of things." In Vermeer I saw my same reverence for artifacts and items made by someone unknown to him. It seemed not far different from being a person upon whom nothing was lost. Vermeer, I believe, was a lover of the connotations and qualities of things in his own domestic life--the luminous variations of pale colors in a hand-dipped window-pane, a woman's silk jacket with fur trim, the rough nap of a red Turkish carpet, the strong lines of a golden pitcher, a hand-drawn wall map. These items seemed to be offered to me for narrative purposes.

Looking at many Dutch paintings--genre scenes, portraits, and landscapes--I felt a growing love for a people and a place I could call mine. By virtue of my Dutch name, all those brave Dutchmen fending off flood on their fragile, sunken land were my kinsmen. But those complaisant matrons admiring their jewels, married to ship captains trading in African souls were my kinswomen too. A girl Vermeer painted crouching on a swept Delft street with her orange skirt ballooning out behind her like a pumpkin could have been me in another age. I felt Dutch. These paintings showed me my heritage alive with vitality and history and the endurance of beauty. The cords of connection tightened.

Vermeer painted only thirty-five or thirty-six canvases. There could have been one more, I reasoned, which survived the ravages of time. I constructed in my mind another painting incorporating elements he frequently used and added objects of my own imagination--a glass of milk left by a sickly child, a sewing basket, a young girl's new black shoes with square gold buckles. I had a painting--and with news reports of so much art stolen from Holocaust victims by members of the Third Reich, I had an idea for a story.

Not having fully realized the painting in that first story, I wrote another, this time from the point of view of the painted girl dressed in a blue smock, in my mind, Vermeer's daughter who longed to paint. That would set the second story in the 1660s. They were to be a pair of stories set into a collection of stories about many artists, historic and fictional. My writing group prompted me further: "Nice stories, Susan, but there's a lot of time in between. Can't you do something with it?" The pair of stories became bookends to Girl in Hycinth Blue, a novel about people who lived their defining moments in the presence of a beautiful painting. It launched me into a new life. I am humbled with gratitude. I hope that by writing art-related fiction, I might bring readers who may not recognize the enriching and uplifting power of art to the realization that it can serve them as it has so richly served me.

With the world so full of a number of paintings, I think I could go on and on until I meet the artists face to face. Oh, I do think it's the pleasantest thing ever a writer can do.
bron:
http://www.svreeland.com/bio.html

-------------------------------------------------​ ( )
  EMS_24 | Apr 19, 2012 |
Intriguing collection of short stories tied together by a work of art by the talented Dutch painter, Vermeer. ( )
  kellymaliawilliams | Apr 10, 2012 |
One of the single most boring books I have ever read. "Girl With A Pearl Earring" this is NOT!!!! ( )
1 vote | FutureMrsJoshGroban | Nov 30, 2011 |
My review from October 18, 2002:

Vermeer's Artistic Genius Still Inspires Us Today!

It amazes me that after hundreds of years, Vermeer's art is so inspirational that 2 wonderful pieces of fiction about his paintings were published the same year (1999) ! After thoroughly enjoying GIRL WITH a PEARL EARRING (Tracy Chevalier), I was intrigued by this book by Ms. Vreeland.

Despite their major similarities, the general plot idea and structure was quite different and unique. While Ms. Chevalier's novel dealt with the life story of Greit, the fictional subject of Girl with a Pearl Earring, GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE begins in modern times with the current owner of the painting. Each chapter is a short story unto itself and yet they are all connected by ownership of the painting as we travel back in time to the time when Vermeer actually painted the masterpiece. Throughout the story, the power that the painting had over the emotions and actions of its owners is explored. Therefore, it is ironic when Vermeer's painting subject doubts her own self-worth and her ultimate importance in the world.

A very helpful companion to both this novel and Ms. Chevalier's novel is VERMEER: THE COMPLETE WORKS (Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., 1997) because it features all the Vermeer painting discussed in these tales.

This was a very entertaining short novel and I would highly recommend it, especially if you truly appreciate the power of art! ( )
1 vote KindleKapers | Apr 21, 2011 |
A very interesting and unique treatment of the story. I thought the story started a bit slow, but then I was presently surprised after getting past first chapter. The story caught my attention and still left small pieces of the history up to my imagination. ( )
  kresslya | Mar 20, 2011 |
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