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"Girl With A Pearl Earring" Shines Again At The Frick

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One of the world's most famous paintings is about to go on display at the Frick Museum as part of small exhibition of works by Dutch masters. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

It's nearly 30 years since Johannes Vermeer's "Girl With A Pearl Earring" was last shown in New York. And a lot has happened to the girl since her last visit including a restoration in 1994 that brightened the pearl to its original splendor.

"If you look at the, kind of glisten on her lips just makes it really moist and come alive," says The Frick Collection Director Ian Wardropper. "Or the pearl. If you look closely you'll see in the upper part of the pearl, a kind of highlight. And then you look in the bottom of the pearl and you see a reflection of her white collar. And it's just a few strokes of paint and in that he somehow captures this sense of this glistening pearl."

You could say she's also had a Hollywood makeover with a book and then hit film of the same name starring Scarlet Johannsen and Colin Firth. Now a new documentary "Tim's Vermeer" takes up an ongoing and controversial argument that Vermeer and other Dutch masters of the 17th century used early photographic devices to create such life-like images.

"It's possible that a camera obscura was used to kind of create a kind of pre-photographic image on a piece of paper that he could then trace and then paint over. But I tend to believe that artists can use their imagination and their skill to achieve these things without tricks," Wardropper says.

There are 14 more works of art by Dutch masters on view in this new exhibit on loan from the royal Dutch museum "Mauritshuis" in the Netherlands. But 'Girl' is the big draw.

Originally, the entire exhibition was going to be in one room but the Frick quickly realized that "Girl With A Pearl Earring" needed her own space.

"We really encourage people to take the time to look closely at one single work of art," Wardropper says.

The 'Girl' and the rest of the exhibit will be at The Frick through January 19. There is timed ticketing plus three free Fridays a month.

For details, visit frick.org.

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