Tracy Chevalier wrote a best-selling historical novel about her. Scarlett Johansson played her in a movie. Softly lit, looking over her shoulder with her lips slightly parted, she is sometimes called the “Dutch Mona Lisa.” Who is she? Is she about to say something? And why, for God's sake, is a 17th century Dutch girl wearing a turban?
Johannes Vermeer's enigmatic Girl with a Pearl Earring, the most famous of his 36 paintings, comes the de Young Museum for its first stop on a tour of the United States. As befits its rock star status, Vermeer's small painting hangs in its own gallery in the exhibit, “Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis,” which opens on Saturday, January 26, and includes 34 other paintings from the collection.