Johannes Vermeer
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Johannes Vermeer

Girl With a Pearl Earring

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About Him

Grew Up… the son of an art dealer in the Dutch Republic. After his father’s death, Johannes assumed control of the family business. As he became wealthier, Johannes tried his own hand at painting and became a very skilled oil painter.

Living… in his studio. He hardly spends any time outside, working slowly on his masterful oil paintings. His canvases are dominated by figures of his wealthy household – beautiful depictions of everyday life, which he toils over endlessly. When a new housekeeper, Griet, joins the fold, he slowly recognizes her beauty and quiet inner charisma.

Profession… painter. Though he inherited his family’s art dealing business, Johannes now works as a commissioned artist. His patron, Van Ruijven, also notices Griet’s beauty and commissions Vermeer to paint a portrait of her for him. Though it seems Van Ruijven might want more from Griet than just her likeness in paint.

Interests… oil paintings, beauty in the mundane, and shadows and light. He is enthralled by the art hidden under the surface of everyday interactions.

Relationship Status… married to Catharina. She is forbidden to enter his studio, and doesn’t understand his artistic impulses. She can be a jealous woman who has little interest in Johannes’ art, apart from what it can provide for her.

Challenge… completing his commissioned painting of Griet. He must avoid the jealous eye of his wife, who would immediately put an end to Griet’s work in the household if she knew that he was using her as his muse.

Personality… methodical. Vermeer is a sensitive soul who lives for his art. He takes his time with applying layer after layer of paint, appreciating the textures and shades of color that he can create. He is humble about his work, and keeps his thoughts mostly to himself. His quietness is offset by his loud inner spirit, which comes through in his passion for painting.

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