Girl With a Pearl Earring

Questions! please help!

1)what effect does religion have on Griet?

2) What does Art mean to Vermeers wife?

3)What does art mean to Master Van Ruijven? What does Griet mean to him?

4) What is symbolic about the pearl?

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1. Griet, was a protestant girl who was forced to work as a maid for the artist Vermeer and his Catholic family. Griet encounters religious differences both inside Vermeer’s home and outside in the community. Griet shows uneasiness around religious symbols; “I counted nineteen silently... a painting of the Virgin Mary, and one of the three kings worshipping the Christ child. I gazed at both uneasily” . The Catholic religious symbols were new to Protestant Griet, and they troubled her.

2. Vermeer's wife was a bit of a shrew, at least that's how Vermeer saw her. She certainly did not hold the same passion and mystery of art that he did. She was happy when he made money from his paintings though.

3. This guy loved to collect high priced art. For him, art went hand in hand with social status. I'm sure he appreciated it but art was also a commodity as well as a symbol of wealth. Van Ruijven wanted Griet sexually. Like the art, she became a "must have" obsession. He tries to rape her but does not get too far.

4. The pearl earrings come to symbolize everything that Vermeer's wife is not, Innocence; purity; unblemished perfection; virginity.