The museum asks the public to reinvent a classic painting, with wild results

The girl with the pearl earring? More like dude with an Apple AirPod.

The Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague has issued an open call for creative interpretations of Johannes Vermeer’s classic 17th-century painting – with some bizarre and delightful results.

No earring in this photo of Jessica van der Mast. Just an AirPod.


Woman wears a turban and two pearl earrings while holding a camera

The architect Zoé Molnár is a girl with a pearl earring – and a camera.


“Scroll through posts tagged #mygirlwithapearl on Instagram and you will find more than 4,500 renditions of the famous oil painting of a turbaned young girl with a large earring dangling from her left ear. The homages range from beautiful to whimsical to surreal, from classic to abstract to steampunk. You will see the girl in photos, digital drawings and oil paintings, and recreated in sculptures made from embroidery floss, toys, school supplies, and colorful beads and buttons.

A Na'vi from Avatar as Girl with a Pearl Earring

Multimedia artist Double O Roos: “I made her cry for the world, for the people and for the earth.”


Girl With a Pearl Earring featuring a robot instead of a girl

Robot with a Pearl Earring, an oil on canvas by artist Julian DePuma.


She appears as a baby, an older bearded man, a duck, a dog, a rabbit, and a blue Na’vi from Avatar. In more than one picture, she’s decidedly 21st-century, wearing a face mask or earplugs, or holding a cell phone. An artist superimposed Vermeer’s painting on a Tinder screen and dubbed the creation “Swipe Right.”

In this rendition of Girl With a Pearl Earring, a girl wears a mask on her turban

Some of the tributes include face masks, of course.


Girl with a pearl earring wearing a face mask

Art gallery owner Gea Kok features famous girl ready for COVID.


Were some of the digital versions made with an AI art creation tool? like Dall E? You can bet on it.

The Mauritshuis normally houses the famous painting, but from February the work will be on loan for eight weeks for a Vermeer exhibition at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Instead of leaving the girl’s wall blank, the Mauritshuis plans to rotate some of the crowd-sourced interpretations through a digital display.

“The room in which the girl hangs becomes a temporary place of inspiration where as many girls from home and abroad as possible come together,” says the museum.

Pencils and other school supplies in the shape of girl with pearl earring

“My mission to myself was to create what I could only find in my living room,” says Elisabeth Koch.

elisabeth kochmillinery/Instagram

Girl with a pearl earring recreated with embroidery floss

Submissions came in all sorts of colorful materials.


As the submissions show, the Museum of Creativity has set no limits here. “A self-portrait with a bath towel as a turban, a painted iron or even a stack of dishes,” it says. “Little is too crazy for us.” Registration for the competition ended on January 15th.

One of the best-known Dutch painters of the 17th century, Vermeer is known for his intimate domestic scenes and stunning use of light.

His iconic Girl with a Pearl Earring has made numerous literary and cinematic appearances, including in a 1999 historical novel of the same name, which tells a fictional story about the creation of the painting. This book led to a film adaptation in 2003 starring Scarlett Johansson as the young servant in the Vermeer house, played by Colin Firth.

If you want to examine the original painting more closely to better understand the reinterpretations, an augmented reality feature called Pocket Gallery in Google’s free Google Arts & Culture app offers a virtual exhibition space where you can see all 36 of Vermeer’s paintings and can get to know . None of them have bots.

Girl with a pearl earring as a self-portrait of a bearded man

Visual artist Wil Peerboom, like many others, opted for a self-portrait.


Dog dressed in the style of girl with pearl earring

“Puppy with a Pearl Earring” has a beautiful sound.


An earring in the shape of the painting Girl with a Pearl Earring

A meta version of Girl With a Pearl Earring: the painting as a real earring.


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