Sensitivity: Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
A contemporary author spun a novel-length drama from little more than how a girl’s personality comes across in a painting. It’s a tale of an introvert’s sensitivity and emotions.
What can you know from a single portrait photograph or painting of a person? In some cases, quite a lot. That’s the premise of the novel Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, based on a single painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) and a scanty historical record. Before turning to the novel’s literary interpretation of one intriguing painting, though, let’s look at some research about how personality shows up in portrait shots.