Gatekeeping Beauty: Vermeer’s Mystery

The oil painting Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is considered one of Baroque art’s greatest masterpiece. It was pivotal to the Dutch Golden Age, dating back to around 1665. Still, it is largely a mystery. What, about her, captivated a painter like Vermeer? What lurks behind her shoulder that needed to remain obscure? Who is she? It seems to be that these questions will remain unanswered — a secret Vermeer has taken to the grave. 

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