The Girl with a Pearl Earring: The Making of an Icon


Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art. At the end of the 19th century, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring sold for a pittance, an unknown work by an artist who was only beginning to achieve recognition. Today it is revered as a great masterpiece, so famous that it is recognizable by its title alone, with the name of its maker being almost superfluous. In this lecture recorded on June 1, 2014, at the National Gallery of Art, curator Arthur Wheelock examines the reasons why this image resonates so profoundly with contemporary audiences.

Released: July 01, 2014