Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis – A Book List

Johannes Vermeer’s enigmatic Girl with a Pearl Earring has intrigued art lovers for centuries. See this masterpiece and more than 30 others by artists of the Dutch Golden Age—including Rembrandt, Hals, and Steen—from the collection of the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in this exclusive West Coast presentation at San Francisco’s de Young Museum.  January 26–June 2, 2013

All books available at San Francisco Public Library


For kids (ages 8-12) who want to learn more about Dutch artists:

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

I Spy: An Alphabet in Art by Lucy Micklethwait
Presents objects for the letters of the alphabet through paintings by such artists as Magritte, Picasso, Botticelli, and Vermeer.

The Vermeer Interviews: Conversations with Seven Works of Art by Bob Raczka
In this innovative look at seven paintings by Jan Vermeer, author Bob Raczka takes on the role of interviewer and the people in the paintings become his willing subjects.

Introducing Rembrandt by Alexander Sturgis
Sturgis introduces Rembrandt’s work, explain the triumphs and problems of his personal life, and describe the political realities of his native Holland.


For advanced readers (13 and up) who want to learn more about Dutch artists:

Dutch Painting by Christopher Brown
The seventeenth century was the Golden Age of Dutch painting, during which political independence and increasing prosperity created new patrons of the arts among merchants and statesmen.  This survey of the period presents a careful selection of paintings that marvelously evoke the spirit of a great age of creativity.

Vermeer by Roberta D’Adda
Offers a literary introduction and thoroughly researched essay about Vermeer followed by a section devoted to a detailed description of a selection of the artist’s masterpieces and an extensive chronology of the artist’s life and important historical events of his era.

Picturing Men and Women in the Dutch Golden Age: Paintings and People in Historical Perspective by Klaske Muizelaar and Derek Phillips
The experience of a person today who views paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and other Dutch Old Masters differs radically from the experience of the Dutch man or woman who may have seen the same paintings three centuries ago. This is an exploration of the way in which paintings were displayed and comprehended in 17th-century Holland.

Vermeer’s Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces by Philip Steadman
Over 100 years of speculation and controversy surround claims that the great seventeenth-century Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer, used the camera obscura to create some of the most famous images in Western art. This intellectual detective story starts by exploring Vermeer’s possible knowledge of seventeenth-century optical science, and outlines the history of this early version of the photographic camera, which projected an accurate image for artists to trace.


For adults who love historical novels about art and artists:

Sunflowers by Sheramy Bundrick
In July 1888, in a public garden in Arles, France, Vincent van Gogh meets a young woman who will change his life forever.

Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman
Chessman takes us into the world of Mary Cassatt’s early Impressionist paintings through Mary’s sister Lydia, whom the author sees as Cassatt’s most inspiring muse.

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Dunant brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling an absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city.

The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey
Vienna in 1886 was a city of beautiful architecture, elegant cafes, grand opera houses and a thriving and adventurous artistic community. It was there that twelve-year-old Emilie Floege met the controversial libertine and painter Gustav Klimt.

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach
In 1630s Amsterdam, tulip fever has seized the populace. Everywhere men are seduced by the fantastic exotic flower. But for wealthy merchant Cornelis Sandvoort, it is his young and beautiful wife, Sophia, who stirs his soul and in a bid for immortality, he commissions a portrait of them both by the talented young painter Jan van Loos.

The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
Stone offers a compelling portrait of Michelangelo’s dangerous, impassioned loves, and the God-driven fury from which he wrested the greatest art the world has ever known.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer—but why has he hidden this important work for so long?

Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner
With this fresh and vibrantly imagined portrait of the Impressionist artist Edgar Degas, readers are transported through the eyes of a young Parisian ballerina to an era of light and movement.



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