13 September 2013
Art Is Freedom
The novel Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier is about a sixteen year old girl, Griet, who faces the challange of being a housemaid who must adapt to her new lifestyle. Chevalier discloses art from the grinding of the pigment to the formation of background objects. In the novel, Chevalier explores how art is different to everyone, through painting, vision, and innocence.
Firstly, Johannes Vermeer is a dutch artist who has a passion for painting. Vermeer is the father of five children and a husband to Catharina Vermeeer. Art is Vermeers way of expressing himself. Vermeer’s paintings were taking a while because he accomplishes his work at his own pace. However, when Griet arrived his artwork developed quicker. “His eyes are worth a room full of gold. But sometimes he sees the world only as he wants it to be, not as it is. He does not understand the consequences for others of his point of view.” (Chevalier, 186) This quote shows that Vermeer is like Johnny Deep who shows his true self in his art. Even though Vermeer may the quiet type, he expresses himself through art. When the quote says that he does not understand the consequences for others of his point of view, it seems to point out that Vermeer is independent. It displays that Vermeer is able to manage on his own and he can make decisions for himself. Vermeer does what he loves, which would be painting and he does this at his own rate. Another example that would exhibit Vermeers passion for painting would be when he illustrates Griet. “Griet..He was going to paint me.” (Chevalier 169). This moment when Vermeer paints Griet is the most compelling point in the book. It seems that is reveals that Vermeer has so much interest in Griet that he actually paints her. Griet and Vermeer get into a intimate relationship that no one understands but themselves. Although Griet starts out as a maid, she swiftly becomes an apprentice to Vermeer. “He’s never had anyone fetch the makings of colors for him before, though...He always gets them himself. This is a surprise.” (Chevalier 95) Something fascinating is that Vermeer has never had an apprentice before until Griet. Vermeer is a strong example of art’s morality.
Alternatively, Papa is the evident example of art’s malice. Until he had an accident with a kiln, Griet’s father, Papa, was a dutch Delft artist. His accident leads his family facing a drastic finanical position. Considering he was blinded, he could no longer work, which is why Griet became a maid in the Vermeer household. Griet was able to tell her father about Vermeer’s paintings. Even though Papa is blind, there is more to what meets the eye. “I wanted him to understand that white was not simply white.” (Chevalier 90) It seems as if this quote is expressing that you can read into more than what you can actually see. For example, Papa uses his imagination to see, rather than using his eyes. “Quite another for a man with a painter’s eyes.” (Chevalier 9) Despite his disability, he was able to create an illustration of his own imagination. Papa is gifted with the knowledge which he is able to translate into his own creative belief.
Furthermore, Griet is a sixteen year-old daugther of a Protestant family. She has a