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The mysteries behind a tronie (2/4)

The Subject
The girl with the Pearl shows a young girl, flirting half over her shoulder looking at the viewer. At the time, she obviously looked at the artist. This is for sure one of the mysteries behind the painting of Vermeer. Everyone wonders the provenance of this girl and what was her relationship with him. In Edwin's tronie, with the title "The Girl with the mysterious Eyes", the girl is looking to the audience over her naked shoulder.

Artistic comparison
The girl in Edwin's tronie is in mirror image compared to Vermeer's masterpiece. For him, this is a kind of symbolism. He "mirrors" his technique to that of the old master. Next to that, Edwin shows a more zoomed-in composition of the girl. This is an artistic choice, he wants to keep the composition and tonality close to his own contemporary style. This is clearly influenced by modern inventions, such as photography and filmography. However, Edwin's tronie is built entirely in the tradition of the old masters.


As result of these artistic choices, the surface division is very different. The tronie, The Girl with the mysterious Eyes, covers a larger plane than the portrait of the Girl with the Pearl of Vermeer. Edwin attributes this to fashion. In the 17th century it was more fashionable also to portray the context of the girl, while in the 21st century, through the influence of photography, there is more focus on the girl's face. However, the eternal rules of geometry are clearly present in both works, as indicated by important diagonals in both paintings.

Girl with no Pearl - composition

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