Summer QoTD #8

Lapis Lazuli is a deep blue semi-precious stone, prized for its intense colour. By the end of the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli, then found only in Afghanistan, began to be exported to Europe, where it was ground into powder and made into ultramarine, the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments. It was often reserved for the clothing of the central figures of their paintings.

A Baroque period artist, who had a penchant for this expensive pigment, used it liberally in all of his oil paintings. He wasn’t well known outside his hometown before a French critic who went by the name William Burger reassessed his works leading to the artist’s distinguished reputation.

One of his more famous works, often compared to da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, has even had a book written (with the same title as the artwork) which was also adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Scarlett Johansson.

Identify this artwork and the artist.

Send you responses as comments to the post! Answer will be up after 24 hours along with the next QoTD.

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20 thoughts on “Summer QoTD #8

  1. You guessed correctly! This extravagant artist is indeed Johannes Vermeer with his most famous work: Girl with a Pearl Earring.

    Although now a highly regarded artist, Vermeer was not well known outside of his native city of Delft during his lifetime or in the decades after. Historians credit the 19th-century French critic Étienne-Joseph-Théophile-Thoré (under the pseudonym of William Bürger) for reassessing the artist’s work, which eventually led to Vermeer’s distinguished reputation. Even so, Girl with a Pearl Earring became one of Vermeer’s more famous pieces only around the turn of the 21st century, with the 1995 blockbuster exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the publication of the best-selling novel Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier in 1999. This was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film in 2003 starring Scarlett Johansson as the fictional Griet and Colin Firth as Vermeer.

    Check out QoTD #9 out now!

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