Girl With a Pearl Earring


  • Griet: a sixteen-year old girl working as a servant in the Vermeer household, is the protagonist and narrator in the novel. Chevalier describes her as intelligent and perceptive, and that "she had an aesthetic eye that simply needed encouragement in order to flourish."[2]
  • Johannes Vermeer: a Dutch painter and Griet's master. Chevalier noted she was "reluctant to flesh him out", and that she wanted to keep him mysterious since very little is known about his personality historically.[2]
  • Catharina Bolenes Vermeer: Johannes Vermeer's wife. Chevalier stated that it was easy for her to imagine Catharina's character since she herself was pregnant when she wrote the book; she is very jealous of Griet because she is the first and only person to act as Vermeer's assistant in the studio.[2]
  • Maria Thins: Vermeer's mother-in-law, who is cordial toward Griet.
  • Willem Thins: Catharina's brother, a jobless bachelor, is locked up in an institution after an argument with his mother, and for attacking a pregnant Catharina with a stick.
  • Tanneke, the Vermeers' other older household servant who initially guides Griet through her duties.
  • Maertge Vermeer: Vermeer's eldest daughter who befriends Griet.
  • Cornelia Vermeer: the Vermeer's third daughter who antagonizes Griet throughout her stay.
  • Pieter: the butcher's son who is in love with Griet
  • Agnes: Griet's 12-year-old sister who dies of the plague.
  • Pieter van Ruijven: a patron of Vermeer who molests maids. His eye is caught by Griet the main character, and he requests a portrait of her.
  • Frans, Griet's brother.

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