I Just *Love* Your Earrings: Dutch Masters at The Frick Collection

I Just *Love* Your Earrings: Dutch Masters at The Frick Collection

She looks at me from across the room. I swoon. A subtle smile forms on her soft, glistening lips and I'm in love. Her gaze—dreamy and childish—fixes upon me and I'm lost in the galactic expanse of her eyes. Her beauty needs no artificial adornment, but I have to hand it to her: That girl's earrings are fabulous.

Whose earrings, you ask? The subject of Johannes Vermeer's 1665 masterpiece "Girl with a Pearl Earring," of course. The painting is the star of Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis, an exhibit running at The Frick Collection that marks the final American stop of a global tour of items on rare loan from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hauge, the Netherlands. The works haven't traveled in about 30 years and, in light of a renovation taking place at their home museum, now was the right time to let the works leave the nest. And good thing they have. 

Viewing "Girl with a Pearl Earring" was a lot like viewing da Vinci's Mona Lisa—I was taken aback by the small size of the piece (the thunderous hype around the celebrated artwork led me to imagine it proportionately huge in scale) yet was thoroughly entranced by the depiction nonetheless. Like Mona Lisa, Vermeer's work is quite small (about 39x44.5 cm), displayed behind glass and surrounded by a thick crowd of museumgoers—yet somehow it still manages to deeply impact. The painting's power has something to do with the alluring and mysterious expression on the subjects face (rumored to be Vermeer's eldest daughter). Her mood and thoughts are hard to read or concretely define, allowing her to convey something different (yet universally powerful) to each viewer. 

What will her face say to you? Find out while she's still on view (thru Jan. 19). Just don't wear any statment earrings to The Frick—you'll certainley be upstaged.

>> Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis, The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St., 212.288.0700, www.frick.org, thru Jan. 19th 2014