The Oberlin Review

Perspectives: Seeing Myself in a 350-Year-Old Portrait

Katie Lucey, Arts & Culture Editor

December 7, 2018

Wide eyes. An ambiguous look over her right shoulder. Slightly parted lips. A lone pearl earring. I love art, but I have a rather complicated relationship with Johannes Vermeer’s iconic Girl with a Pearl Earring.  While researching 17th century Dutch art for a project back in high school, I stumbled upon a close-up image of the painting, and was intrigued by the subject’s piercing, yet seemingly apathetic gaze. Tracing the line of her cheek on my computer screen, I saw a resemblance between us. Yet, we would never be the same. Whereas she was quietly confident, I felt insecure about my future. At the time, the mere thought of college overwhelmed me; I had no idea where I would spend the next four critical years ...

Established 1874.