The Girl with a pearl earring was painted by Johannes Vermeer. The author was born in 1632 and he died in 1675 in the Low Countries. The current documentation shows that Vermeer wasn't a famous painter in his period despite now is the most representative Dutch figure of the 17th century. Probably Vermeer is famous due to his way of painting with strength in their compositions and for the use of clear and shiny colours.Vermeer represents daily life scenes in his paintings.
We can distinguish the contrasts and the shadows, the background is darkest than the foreground because the painter used contrast of lights and colours to show the woman better and in a first ground.
The painting had, obviously, Baroque features: use of oil painting, predominance of colour over drawing, warm colours, contrasts, movement…
Nobody knows who the girl is, but there are some ideas of who can be:
-His older daughter, Maria.
-The daughter of his commissioner who had the same aspect as the girl in the painting.
-Griet, the servant.
Vermeer made more paintings like The Girl with a pearl earring: The Girl with a flute and Study of a Young Woman. The three were included in the Dissius catalogue of 1696 due to their representations.
I have found the photos in these sources.