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Girl with a Pearl EarringTracy ChevalierPlume, 2001The Girl with a Pearl Earring is a painting done by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, around 1665 Not much is known about Vermeer which gives Chevalier creative license to develop what I believe is an interesting story The painting is currently on exhibition in New York, at the Frick Collection The exhibition is scheduled to be there until January 19, 2014.The story told in first person by Griet the protagonist starts in Delft South Holland Girl with a Pearl EarringTracy ChevalierPlume, 2001The Girl with a Pearl Earring is a painting done by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, around 1665 Not much is known about Vermeer which gives Chevalier creative license to develop what I believe is an interesting story The painting is currently on exhibition in New York, at the Frick Collection The exhibition is scheduled to be there until January 19, 2014.The story told in first person by Griet the protagonist starts in Delft South Holland , in 1664, when she was sixteen 16 Griet is the daughter of a tile painter who has recently lost his sight Griet parents hired her out as a maid to the Vermeer family Griet was expected to help out her family by bringing home the fruits of her labor In the first few pages of the book there is considerable change in this family The father has lost his sight, her brother Frans thirteen 13 has left home to start an apprenticeship, now Griet is leaving home to work Her younger sister Agnes is upset because she will be without both siblings Griet is concerned because her family is Protestant and while the Vermeer s are Catholic When the Vermeers visits Griet s house to determine her suitability for the job as maid they each looked at her differently Catharina, Vermeer s wife was concerned about Griet s physical ability to perform the job while Vermeer noted how she had laid out the vegetable she was cutting up for a stew separating them by color, in a circular pattern.The Vermeers have five 5 children with one on the way Vermeer s mother in law, Maria Thins, also lives in the house There are a couple of other servants who assisted in running the household, which gave room forconflicts in the story Griet s main job is doing the laundry and cleaning Vermeer s studio, but, she also helps with the kitchen and taking care of the children Griet was challenged by many conflicts primarily with Catharina, Cornelia one of the children , and Tanneke a long term servant She also has to fight off Vermeer s patron, van Ruijven He is married but has a reputation for chasing young maids.Griet later took onresponsibility which included purchasing food for the family She noted that the Vermeer family use Pieter for their butcher She was to shop for the family daily and purchase the meat for the day Pieter had a son who showed interest in Griet, which was at first not returned.Griet showed interest in Vermeer s painting and asked him questions which he seemed to encourage He later showed her how he made his colors for his paintings Griet later became the subject of a portrait which he was commissioned by van Ruijven to paint.I think the author struggled at times to write as a sixteen 16 year old would think However, I enjoyed the book I approached this novel trepidatiously How could I ever suspend my disbelief with this work How could I ever believe such a ridiculous tale about Vermeer and one of his most revered paintings I must admit that I opened this novel expecting to utterly detest the lies it weaves By page two I realised that I was an idiot who should never be listened to Griet is hired as a maid to the Vermeer family in Delft This novel supposes that Griet the maid was the sitter for Vermeer s great work Girl w I approached this novel trepidatiously How could I ever suspend my disbelief with this work How could I ever believe such a ridiculous tale about Vermeer and one of his most revered paintings I must admit that I opened this novel expecting to utterly detest the lies it weaves By page two I realised that I was an idiot who should never be listened to Griet is hired as a maid to the Vermeer family in Delft This novel supposes that Griet the maid was the sitter for Vermeer s great work Girl with a Pearl Earring However that is not the story, or at least it is only a small part of it The novel mainly concerns the inner workings of the Vermeer household and Griet s attempts to keep everything in control It is a fantastic character study and I do admire Chevalier s bravery in using the first person narrative Whilst I will admit that at times Griet s dialogue is somewhat stilted and some lines are just downright odd His smile made me grip my broom tightly was one line that made me chuckle due to its utter ridiculousness , she is never an annoying or tiring character I really enjoyed the subtlety and delicacy of the novel The plot flows along nicely which causes you to really fly through the narrative It is not a criticism that I often voice but I would have almost liked for this novel to be longer I feel I will truly miss Griet I must say that I am somewhat smitten with this novel It genuinely surprised me It s really great @DOWNLOAD E-PUB ⚶ Girl With A Pearl Earring ⚷ The Dutch painter Vermeer has remained one of the great enigmas of th century Dutch art While little is known of his personal life, his extraordinary paintings of natural and domestic life, with their subtle play of light and colour, have come to define the Dutch Golden Age The mysterious portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has fascinated art historians for centuries, and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of Tracy Chevalier s second novel of the same title Girl with a Pearl Earring centres on Vermeer s prosperous household in Delft in the s The appointment of the quiet, perceptive heroine of the novel, the servant Griet, gradually throws the household into turmoil as Vermeer and Griet become increasingly intimate, an increasingly tense situation that culminates in her working for Vermeer as his assistant, and ultimately sitting for him as a model Chevalier deliberately cultivates a limpid, painstakingly observed style in homage to Vermeer, and the complex domestic tensions of the Vermeer household are vividly evoked, from the jealous, vain, young wife to the wise, taciturn mother in law At times the relationship between servant and master seems a little anachronistic, but Girl with a Pearl Earring does contain a final delicious twist in its tail Chevalier acknowledges her debt to Simon Schama s classic study of the Dutch Golden Age, The Embarrassment of Riches, and the novel comes hard on the heels of Deborah Moggach s similar tale of domestic intrigue behind the easel of th century Dutch painting, Tulip Fever Girl with a Pearl Earring is a fascinating piece of speculative historical fiction, but how much can novelists extract from the Dutch Golden AgeJerry Brotton سه قطعه نمایشی his extraordinary paintings of natural and domestic life A Concise History Of The Stanley Hotel with their subtle play of light and colour The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System have come to define the Dutch Golden Age The mysterious portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has fascinated art historians for centuries The Big Ideas Box and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of Tracy Chevalier s second novel of the same title Girl with a Pearl Earring centres on Vermeer s prosperous household in Delft in the s The appointment of the quiet Rerum Italicarum Scriptores; Raccolta Degli Storici Italiani Dal Cinquecento Al Millecinquecento Ordinata Da L. A. Muratori, Vol. 17: Parte I (Gesta Magnifica Domus Carrariensis-Vol. II) (Classic Reprint) perceptive heroine of the novel Purple Ducks the servant Griet Erotic Shorts gradually throws the household into turmoil as Vermeer and Griet become increasingly intimate Renegade Earth: An Intergalactic Space Opera Adventure (Renegade Star Book 6) an increasingly tense situation that culminates in her working for Vermeer as his assistant Serpent Symbolism In The Old Testament: A Linguistic, Archaeological, And Literary Study and ultimately sitting for him as a model Chevalier deliberately cultivates a limpid Bike Boy painstakingly observed style in homage to Vermeer Venetia Kellys Traveling Show and the complex domestic tensions of the Vermeer household are vividly evoked The Revenant from the jealous Under the Sun: The Letters of Bruce Chatwin vain Gender, Politics, and Islam young wife to the wise The Widower's Second Chance taciturn mother in law At times the relationship between servant and master seems a little anachronistic Incest Sex: Seducing Daddy: Confessions of Horny Daughters Volume 1 but Girl with a Pearl Earring does contain a final delicious twist in its tail Chevalier acknowledges her debt to Simon Schama s classic study of the Dutch Golden Age Gracious Lady The Embarrassment of Riches Gracious Lady and the novel comes hard on the heels of Deborah Moggach s similar tale of domestic intrigue behind the easel of th century Dutch painting Champs of Devgarh Tulip Fever Girl with a Pearl Earring is a fascinating piece of speculative historical fiction Oleander Girl but how much can novelists extract from the Dutch Golden AgeJerry Brotton Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy ChevalierGirl with a Pearl Earring is a 1999 historical novel written by Tracy Chevalier Set in 17th century Delft, Holland, the novel was inspired by Delft school painter Johannes Vermeer s painting Girl with a Pearl Earring Chevalier presents a fictional account of Vermeer, the model, and the painting The novel was adapted into a 2003 film of the same name and a 2008 play Sixteen year old Griet lives with her family in Delft in 1664 Her father has been rec Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy ChevalierGirl with a Pearl Earring is a 1999 historical novel written by Tracy Chevalier Set in 17th century Delft, Holland, the novel was inspired by Delft school painter Johannes Vermeer s painting Girl with a Pearl Earring Chevalier presents a fictional account of Vermeer, the model, and the painting The novel was adapted into a 2003 film of the same name and a 2008 play Sixteen year old Griet lives with her family in Delft in 1664 Her father has been recently blinded in an accident, and the family s precarious economic situation forces Griet s parents to find her employment as a maid in painter Johannes Vermeer s household Becoming a maid casts doubt on Griet s respectability because of the bad reputation that maids have for stealing, spying and sleeping with their employers It is not revealed how much of this reputation is earned At the Vermeers, she befriends the family s oldest daughter, Maertge, but is not on good terms with Cornelia, one of Vermeer s younger daughters She also becomes friendly with Tanneke, the other house servant, but is careful to remain modest and unobtrusive for fear of making Tanneke jealous 2001 1380 237 20 1381 269 9789645757401 So the parts when Vermeer was actually being a painter were interesting Seeing as I slogged through this on account of a recommendation that arose from an art class lecture on Vermeer, I was hoping that the art stuff would at least deliver But it s not a good sign when a book s most compelling moments revolve around two people grinding pigments And, no Grinding pigments is not a euphemism for artist bangin It is, quite literally, referring to the detailed descriptions of how paint was ma So the parts when Vermeer was actually being a painter were interesting Seeing as I slogged through this on account of a recommendation that arose from an art class lecture on Vermeer, I was hoping that the art stuff would at least deliver But it s not a good sign when a book s most compelling moments revolve around two people grinding pigments And, no Grinding pigments is not a euphemism for artist bangin It is, quite literally, referring to the detailed descriptions of how paint was made in the days before those fancy metal tubes replaced pig bladders as the paint storing vessels of choice.This was the most predictable book I ve read in a while, and that includes the two graphic novel series that are simply retelling stories I know well in a new medium I knew exactly where the plot was going within the book s first dozen pages Every subsequent thread was introduced with the subtlety of a sledgehammer and the writerly finesse of a 14 year old s first attempt at fanfiction It was also pretty obvious what stereotype everyone was going to play from his or her very first appearance There really isn t a multi dimensional character in this book I understand that the first person voice is a limited perspective by its nature, and I would write it off as just that if the peripheral characters were the only flat archetypes, but even the narrator doesn t carry any convincing weight Griet is the protagonist because she s the main character And because all of the characters with whom she has scuffles are inexplicably bitchy Not giving characters any real motivations, not making them behave and interact believably, and generally preferring to tell rather than show all contributed to making this whole book feel sloppy, underdeveloped and rushed If Girl with a Pearl Earring was maybe 200pages of really hammering out the story and its players, maybe then it d be asatisfying read At least it s mercifully quick and mostly painless at its current length.I say mostly painless because there are some groan worthy lines showcased here Whilepages would have maybe benefited the plot, there is nothing save for a control freak editor that could have improved the prose itself I could not get past the clunky writing It didn t take me long to get violently annoyed by the author s fondness for hitting the reader over the head with the most obvious attempts at subtle foreshadowing by way of forcing too much weight on these flimsy, laughably ominous one sentence paragraphs There were numerous other technical things that kept grating on me about the writing and its myriad shortcomings Among them Griet saying things like I always regretted that decision to indicate that she s looking back on a time that is very clearly written as the present not one character shows any development throughout the novel sixteen year old Griet, the daughter of a tile painter, somehow knowsabout painting and composition than Vermeer, a professional artist who actually managed to garner some fame during his living years Even when the book pissed me off which was often , I will admit that I never found Griet herself to be irritating maybe because I kept fantasizing about Scarlett Johansson to save my brain from oozing through my ears but I was irked at how it felt like Chevalier was Mary Sue ing her way through the character The way that every man whom Griet encountered in the whole damn book fawned over and flirted with her, the way she was presented as being uneducated but naturally clever just because she sometimes spoke her mind and separated her chopped veggies by color, the way Griet s family was painted as these simple, sheltered little Protestants who knew nothing of the world around them there was far too much black or white for me to take anything about the book seriously I don t care enough to write about this book anySo Every other gripe I have notwithstanding, here are three of the book s most glaring failures Vermeer, for being the central male character, remains an enigma It s not that he s shrouded in an air of charming mystery but rather that his personality is nothingthan a bunch of suppositions that Griet just knows about him Griet does not ever refer to Vermeer as anything other than he or himNot Once It made her sound like a starstruck teenybopper and it undermined any sense of genuine affection between the painter and his maid The similes Oh, dear sweet Baby Jesus, the similes I now know that I have a limited tolerance for the number of trite comparisons of faces and voices to household objects that I encounter in one novel, all thanks to the time I spent reading this book A reread 4.5 Stars Griet had not been told that she is to become the painter Vermeer s maid, her mother only revealing the job to her after the Vermeer s had already been, inspected Griet, and left Griet has no say in the matter Her father was a tile painter before a tragic accident, in which a kiln explosion claimed his eyes and trade The family who were already struggling, treading water, now find themselves slowly slipping beneath the surface.Her father explains to Griet that she is to be A reread 4.5 Stars Griet had not been told that she is to become the painter Vermeer s maid, her mother only revealing the job to her after the Vermeer s had already been, inspected Griet, and left Griet has no say in the matter Her father was a tile painter before a tragic accident, in which a kiln explosion claimed his eyes and trade The family who were already struggling, treading water, now find themselves slowly slipping beneath the surface.Her father explains to Griet that she is to be a maid for the famous painter Vermeer Cleaning his studio will be one of her main tasks It is 1664, in the city of Delft, Holland Griet has been brought up a protestant but the Vermeer s are catholic and Griet wonders how life will change and what differences she will find in a Catholic household.The first time she sees the painting that Vermeer is currently working on, she is struck with awe She has never seen anything like it in her life before On the Sunday that she has free and returns to spend with her family she describes the painting for her father.These Sunday visits are soon taken from Griet as the area in which her family live is quarantined with word spreading that the plague has surfaced in the vicinity.She finds out from Pieter, the son of the butcher where she purchases the meat, that her parents are well but that her sister Agnes has taken ill Pieter is a cheerful gregarious chap and falls for Griet He does not hide his feelings and makes his intentions known to Griet Griet tells him that she is only seventeen and has no feelings for him, however this does not dissuade Pieter.Griet s parents decide, with Pieter being the son of a butcher, that he is a good match for Griet and invite him for dinner Griet feels that she is helping the family by playing her role in securing their future, and a marriage could lead them out of penury However, she is doing this out of family duty and harbours no feelings for Pieter other than friendship.One day Pieter tells Griet that Vermeer had a child with one of the maids in his painting Alarmingly she asks him what happened to the maid He answers her with,What happens to girls like that.Before the quarantine is lifted Griet receives the terrible news that her sister has passed Griet is grief stricken At first Griet barely sees Vermeer He is nearly always locked away in his studio studiously painting One morning the baker s daughter is ill and Vermeer asks Griet to stand in for her in a painting he is working on From this day on, Griet and Vermeer grow closer Vermeer starts showing Griet how a painting is created from scratch Griet, is utterly entranced She has never seen a painting being painted, never met a master painter before Her feelings start to grow stronger for Vermeer with each passing day Griet shows an unusual talent for colour and arrangement and Vermeer is quietly surprised and happy.Vermeer then teaches her how to mix paints but as she grows closer to Vermeer, she becomes aware that all this can be taken away from her in an instant Vermeer s wife knows nothing of this work Griet is doing for him Griet becomes used to this new way of life and it is not until Maertge, the eldest daughter, tells her that she is going to be moved from the attic, where she mixes the paints, back to the cellar, that she realises what she will be missingI slowed my pace Years of hauling water, wringing out clothes, scrubbing floors, emptying chamberpots, with no chance of beauty or colour or light in my life, stretched before me like a landscape of flat land, where a long way off the sea is visible but can never be reached If I could not work with the colours, if I could not be near him, I did not know how I could continue to work in that house.While Griet has been working at the Vermeer s household she has picked up an unwarranted admirer A powerful, and rich admirer He is Vermeer s patron van Ruijven and he has his eyes set on Griet.Although Vermeer is a famous painter, the household is in debt Vermeer s extreme slowness in painting leaves him with only a few paintings to sell each year So, when his patron van Ruijven requests that he paint Griet, Vermeer has little choice but to comply.Griet is trapped, she does not want to sit for the painting, but Pieter sums up her situation in a sentence,But you have little power of what happens to you.The painting of Griet has an almost pornographic taboo feel to it It feels as if lines have been crossed and that boundaries have been broken.There is no illusion that Griet thinks she is in love with Vermeer Griet is seventeen and na ve, apart from Pieter she has never been courted by a man and is blithely unaware of her beauty When Vermeer sees Griet with her hair down, freed from the cap that has always remained on her head He realises that he may be falling in love himself There is always a sexual tension, almost like a charge of electricity, between the two But will this tension result in action And if the two do engage in a clandestine affair whare does that leave Griet What hope is there for her She is placed in an impossible situation with no positive outcome in sight.This novel makes the reader think about the relationship between master and servant How Griet, only seventeen and very na ve, is caught up in the grey area that exists between the two roles She sways back and forth like a ship in a storm, one minute reminded of her humble life while working on the household tasks, then a completely different world, mixing colours and helping Vermeer with his painting Griet s place in the Vermeer household is never secure, she seems to be always teetering of the verge of being thrown out with Vermeer himself the only tether keeping her safe.How is Griet going to get herself out of this situation, and is shethan just the na ve country maid that everybody thinks she is This was a reread for me and it has lost nothing in the years since I read it Not much is known about Vermeer during these years, so Chevalier had a great deal of license to play around with, and she has done a wonderful job, creating a believable and enjoyable novel 4.5 Stars I CAN T SHOUT MEHLOUD ENOUGH The popular fame obtained by this book and its subsequent movie version starring Scarlett Johansson two hours later Sorry, I was daydreaming had me expecting a tumultuous romance, a grab ya and hold ya reading experience But thisI don t know what this was, but it wasn t exciting in the least Girl With a Pearl Earring is about a maid, who becomes a model, who gets her picture painted and attracts the notice of a few men The painter is famous, so tha I CAN T SHOUT MEHLOUD ENOUGH The popular fame obtained by this book and its subsequent movie version starring Scarlett Johansson two hours later Sorry, I was daydreaming had me expecting a tumultuous romance, a grab ya and hold ya reading experience But thisI don t know what this was, but it wasn t exciting in the least Girl With a Pearl Earring is about a maid, who becomes a model, who gets her picture painted and attracts the notice of a few men The painter is famous, so that s interesting His patron is rich, of course, and expects to get what he wants, so there s your villainkind of Really, our protagonist s main enemy is jealousy But that enemy s effectiveness is quashed by another force money And that leaves us with a less dramatically, emotionally affecting book I read through to the end, expecting something bigger to happen the whole way, but even though it never did, I did still manage to get through it all, so there s something to be said for that.In the end, however, this book has to say about as much as does a picture of a beautiful woman Not much In related newsMy overly sensitive and irrational wife would like me to take down my Johansson picture collage homage from the ceiling over our bed But as I ve explained, ScarJo needs the support of her 1 fan Beautifully written and read aloud, this is an imagining of the possible life of the girl depicted in Vermeer s lovely painting. Another one of my wife s recommendations I read a lot of books that way , I picked it up from the bookshelf the night we came back from seeing the film with Scarlett Johansonn and Colin Firth I loved the movie it was just so incredibly sumptuous and was curious to know the story in the novel, which I knew from experience, and from my wife s continuous comments, would be different,detailed I was right.Chevalier has won a place in my heart and bookshelf Her novels are well crafted, sim Another one of my wife s recommendations I read a lot of books that way , I picked it up from the bookshelf the night we came back from seeing the film with Scarlett Johansonn and Colin Firth I loved the movie it was just so incredibly sumptuous and was curious to know the story in the novel, which I knew from experience, and from my wife s continuous comments, would be different,detailed I was right.Chevalier has won a place in my heart and bookshelf Her novels are well crafted, simple to follow, and addictive Girl was no exception The story of the maid Griet in 1600 s Delft, Holland, was amazing in its simple prose and endless emotion Completely fictional no one knows who exactly were the models for any of Vermeer s paintings , it nonetheless possesses a veracity that makes you believe Chevalier found the long lost journal of this unknown woman and wrote her novel based on it The details of seventeen century Holland are rich you feel you are walking the canal lined streets of Delft, smelling the pungent scents of the Meat Market, holding your breath as Vermeer paints next to you Griet is a wonderful protagonist, taking you into her world, yet retaining a few secrets for herself, especially where Vermeer is concerned.Girl is one of those novels that truly invites you, and almost kidnaps you, to become part of the story, to walk next to the characters, to share in their lives, to feel as they feel Watch the movie, by all means the photography is absolutely incredible , but then read the novel and get the whole story You will not be disappointed I know almost nothing about art, but even I can tell that Girl With a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is a brilliant painting captivating is probably the best word to describe it One presumes that Chevalier agrees with me, and this is what lead her to write a novel about the painting, its subject and its creator So, is the novel as captivating as the piece that inspired it The short answer would be no.Now for the longer answerChevalier is probably one of the best known historical nov I know almost nothing about art, but even I can tell that Girl With a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is a brilliant painting captivating is probably the best word to describe it One presumes that Chevalier agrees with me, and this is what lead her to write a novel about the painting, its subject and its creator So, is the novel as captivating as the piece that inspired it The short answer would be no.Now for the longer answerChevalier is probably one of the best known historical novelists of the last ten years, with this book always in the foreground when she is discussed As far as historical information goes, I think she does okay with it I had a pretty clear picture of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century by the time I was done with the book whether or not its accurate or not is another matter , but I felt at times that there wasn t that detail that critics proclaimed about on the cover.The characters, I feel, are never truly developed Vermeer himself remains a mystery throughout, even to the protagonist and narrator, Griet, who appears to have some connection with him Griet meanwhile, is what I would describe as a stock teenage girl character She is similar to many characters I ve read before, and yet she does not really advance on that.The narrative style is one that I would have adored at 14, but by now find to be pedestrian This is first person narrative at its simplest and blandest and I don t feel that we gain anything from it the novel may just as well have been in third person and would not have suffered for it It may even have benefited from it.The structure is interesting Split into parts that represent years, rather than having chapter breaks makes it difficult to find a stopping place at times, and it is thisthan anything else that makes a page turner of the novel Meanwhile, the entire thing seems to be building to the inevitable moment when Vermeer will paint Griet The scenes are handled with less intensity than I had hoped for from the build up, and once the painting is finished, Chevalier seems to want nothing but for the novel to be over too, and closes it down rather too quickly.Perhaps the fact that little is known about Vermeer s life would imply that a fictional version of it would be easy to tell Sadly, the gaps in knowledge seem to be too big to fill.At the end of the novel, I had discovered how this work came about, the girl staring out from it, but still had almost no real idea of the man behind it It is, in my opinion, a failure in this respect.However, it is a good read if you re looking for something historical but not too heavy Or if you like art there are some interesting discussions about colour in there I can see why many people enjoy this novel, but I cannot fathom why some hold it in such high acclaim I feel it will be some time before I read anything else by Tracy Chevalier