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Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999)

by Tracy Chevalier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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17,359321293 (3.75)601
Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a 16-year-old Dutch girl, who becomes a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Her calm and perceptive manner not only helps her in her household duties, but also attracts Vermeer's attention. He slowly draws her into the world of his paintings and ultimately has her sit for him as a model.

In this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired on of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings, Tracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place. History and fiction merge seamlessly in a luminous tale of artistic vision, sensual awakening, and daily life in the Netherlands of the 17th-century.

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» See also 601 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 291 (next | show all)
Highly sensual without being actually sexual. A window onto the methods of 17th century artists, specifically Vermeer. Very well done. ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
I had a copy of this on my TBR pile, so I am happy to be able to cross this one off of this list, and to put the book in one of our nearby little free libraries, for someone else to read. Probably everyone else here has read this one? Historical fiction about a young woman working as a maid for Vermeer. I was really enjoying the book at first, for the depiction of life in the Netherlands in 1664. In the end, I felt there was a lot of housecleaning and laundry, and not enough plot. So, 3 1/2 stars. ( )
  banjo123 | Jan 20, 2024 |
Thoroughly enjoyable. I won't go so far as to say it's a new Wuthering Heights or anything, but it was only on later reflection did I feel like there was a missed opportunity for this book to become a classic. The maid was fittingly painted in brilliant color, Vermeer (but only his shadow) in bold dark relief, but the other characters were maybe a little flat. I couldn't help but be disappointed in Maria Thins who seemed to lose depth by the end. And what a steamy, creative, and unnecessary sex scene! ( )
  emmby | Oct 4, 2023 |
While I definitely enjoyed the book and thought that the premise was terrific, I found that Griet's prudishness - which really only served to lengthen a book which could have been quite shorter - got on my nerves. All other facets, however, were lovely: the description of Vermeer's works, his work method, the comings and goings of the household including jealousies and intrigues, Griet's family and its troubles - all were interesting, fluid, and sounded true to the times.
It's a beautiful testimony to the world-known painting and a well-imagined tale rooted in art history. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Jul 10, 2023 |
Overall I enjoyed the book but I was a bit annoyed with Griet's thought patterns toward the end.

I found Griet to be almost too smart for her background and then too love-struck and silly when it came to "her master". It was an easy, light read, not too complicated. ( )
  Chanicole | Jul 6, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 291 (next | show all)
For a while it seems that it will be... an artist romance. Tracy Chevalier steers her novel deliberately close and tacks abruptly away. The book she has written, despite a lush note or two and occasional incident overload, is something far different and better... [Instead, it is] a brainy novel whose passion is ideas.
 
Chevalier's exploration into the soul of this complex but nave young woman is moving, and her depiction of 17th-century Delft is marvelously evocative.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chevalier, Tracyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bruning, FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eikli, RagnhildTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fortier-Masek, Marie-OdileTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gothóni, ArjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morahan, HattieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pugliese, LucianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riera, ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strandberg, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tremain, RoseForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vázquez, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wulfekamp, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a 16-year-old Dutch girl, who becomes a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Her calm and perceptive manner not only helps her in her household duties, but also attracts Vermeer's attention. He slowly draws her into the world of his paintings and ultimately has her sit for him as a model.

In this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired on of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings, Tracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place. History and fiction merge seamlessly in a luminous tale of artistic vision, sensual awakening, and daily life in the Netherlands of the 17th-century.

.

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Book description
Chevalier's classic book takes place during the 17th Century and features Griet, a young Dutch maid, who moves in with the family of the well-known artist Vermeer; she discovers that her profession requires long hours, no privacy, and small contact with her own ailing family. However, Griet's only place of solitude is when she cleans Vermeer's studio and reveals to him her appreciation of his art.
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