Tuesday, June 18, 2013

'Girl with a Pearl Earring' spotted by photographers in Atlanta

Posted By on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 11:58 AM

For weeks, we've been hearing that a certain girl would be making her first appearance in Atlanta. PR emails were exchanged. Photographers were scheduled. Dates were made, then revised, then double-checked. Yesterday morning, after weeks of anticipation, a select group was standing in the room when the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" made her first appearance at the High Museum.

In the world of paintings, there are a good deal of famous ones. "The Gross Clinic" by Thomas Eakins, for example. That's a famous painting, one that is studied, celebrated, and written about. Yet, the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" has achieved a kind of fame that is on an entirely different level of magnitude. People who do not care about paintings know this one. They know the movie starring Scarlett Johannson as the Girl herself. Maybe they have even read the bestseller by Tracy Chevalier. In fact, they may know all of this and when the subject up the person who painted comes up, they pause and say, "Whatshisname?" Johannes Vermeer. Right, that guy. This Girl belongs to a select club of painted women who have become larger than the painting that contains them or even the artist who created them. Mona comes to mind, of course. There are, perhaps, two or three others.

The Girl has arrived as part of an exhibition, Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis, of about 35 works that have traveled from the Netherlands to be here. Among them, Rembrandt's "'Tronie' of a Man with a Feathered Beret," another very famous painting, though obviously not the headliner.

As the High explains it, the exhibition has been curated with an eye toward the 17th-century Dutch interest in "everyday subjects," "commonplace scenes," and "daily life." All of that seems rather ironic, because the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" happens to be such a celebrity today. Just try not to stare.

Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis opens June 23 and runs through September 29. More details at the High.

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