Spring 2014

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Penny Jolly


During this semester-long project I researched Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665), with three goals in mind: to examine the materials, techniques, aging, and conservation of the painting; create a copy of the painting; and write about my findings. First, I researched the artistic techniques and materials used in the painting, as well as the aging and degradation of these materials and previous conservation treatments, to understand the painting’s current aesthetic state and how it has changed since it leaving Vermeer’s studio over three hundred years ago. Second, I synthesized this information to create a copy of the painting and reenact Vermeer’s painting technique, allowing me to gain a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding unachievable through other means. Third, using Girl with a Pearl Earring as a case study, I explored how research achieved through conservation benefits art historical discourse.


Note: Access to this thesis is restricted to Skidmore community.