Thursday, October 6, 2016

Volkje Juriaens van Noorstrant

Volkje Juriaens "Volkie" van Nordstrand van Husum (1618 - 1703)

The painting is signed "IVMeer" but not dated. It is estimated to have been painted around 1665.

That is all wrong, if one is to suppose that Volkje was the subject of the painting, The Girl with the Pearl Earing by Johannes Vermeer. First, Volkje spent time in Amsterdam, living on Tuinstraat, close to the home and studio of the great painter Rembrandt von Rijn. Vermeer, the painter, lived out his life in the Dutch city of Delft. Lastly, we can guess that Volkje was born in the year 1615, or thereabouts, making her too old for the young girl in the painting.

The girl with the pearl earing, by Johannes Vermeer

She was little she was pert, and had soft grey eyes the color of the winter sky. In the mornings in the mudflats along the banks of the Wadden Sea, she could be found gathering eggs from the nests of the waders, geese, ducks and gulls that nest in the marshes. From time to time, she would stop to watch the grey seals swimming in the dark blue-green water or resting on the sand, but more often she could be seen gazing into the grey sky watching the falcon soaring overhead and plummeting to earth in pursuit of their prey.

It was the falcon for whom she was named, and to be more precise, the little falcon.