Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialised in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. During his lifetime, he was a moderately successful provincial genre painter, recognised in Delft and The Hague. Nonetheless, he produced relatively few paintings and evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death
Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work. Girl with a Pearl Earring became known by its present title towards the end of the 20th century after the large pearl earring worn by the girl portrayed there. The work has been in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague since 1902 and has been the subject of various literary treatments.
The painting is an example of a tronie, (16/17th-century Dutch for "face") works common in Dutch Golden Age painting and Flemish Baroque painting that shows an exaggerated facial expression or a stock character in costume. The blue turban itself is painted in natural ultramarine, a fabulously expensive pigment made from crushed lapis lazuli. In 2006, the Dutch public selected it as the most beautiful painting in the Netherlands.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-1096: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)