A Pearl Earring

 

New Year in Nara, Japan
The smoke of incense fills the air like a dense fog as people climb the steps to enter the main temple grounds. To the left, a group of people pray at a small altar on the way.

Happy New Year, Everyone! I hope 2013 finds you happy and healthy and feeling fresh and new.  I’m looking forward to great things happening this year. Not exactly sure what they are yet, but not knowing is half the fun, right?

The Girl with a Pearl Earring – Vermeer, 1665

A number of works from the Mauritshuis Museum in the Netherlands are currently on loan at the Kobe Museum here in Japan, so we went over to browse yesterday. I mainly wanted to see the Rembrandt and Rubens works. To be honest, I thought the Vermeer would be more of a nice distraction, but not the main attraction for me personally (although it obviously was for most people). But I had never seen The Girl with a Pearl Earring before. Not up close and in person. There was something completely different about seeing the original. The moment I walked into the room and her glance caught me from a distance (because she was obviously staring at me), I choked up. Her offhanded gaze and frozen-in-the-moment pose caught me completely unprepared. I was really amazed at my own reaction. There was a long queue to get up close and see her, and by the time I was in front, I was completely entranced. I went back and waited in the queue again.

I bought this amazing Miffy recreation at the gift shop. It doesn’t have quite the emotional impact of the original. Well, not the same emotion, at least. Even though everyone loves Miffy, right?

Miffy with a Pearl Earring

 

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