Delft was a city I had dreamed about, ever since reading Tracy Chevalier‘s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” This book is about the painting of the same name by Johannes Vermeer. There is also a wonderful film version with Scarlett Johansson.
I first encountered the book during English Festival, a northeast Ohio program at Youngstown State University about books. I can thank the festival for greatly widening my young adult literature horizons and for teaching me about Johannes Vermeer.
Perhaps the charm about this painting is that the girl in the painting is unknown; she could be anyone. After visiting the Vermeer museum in Delft, I learned that she probably isn’t anyone at all other than a pretend girl and a practice painting, but that does not make me love her, the painting or Johannes Vermeer any less.
I went to Delft to see Vermeer’s city, to see the scenes from the movie, to see the famous blue and white porcelain from that city. I combined this with other stops in the Netherlands for a greater-Vermeer + tulips tour, which so greatly passed all my expectations.
To see some of Delft, click the photo below, which is Vermeer’s grave in the Oude Kirk.