lunedì 26 maggio 2014

Girl with a (Princess Diana) Pearl Earring

My hometown, Bologna, in Italy, recently hosted a big art exhibition which showcased the great treasures of Dutch painting from the so-called "Golden Age", including priceless works by the likes of Rembrandt and Vermeer.

The centrepiece of the exhibition was the world-famous "Girl with a Pearl Earring", by Johannes Vermeer.

I 've always been attached to the novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, the first ever novel I read in the original English version, and the film that was later inspired by it, starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson, so I thought, what better chance to channel my inner "Girl" than by wearing my beloved Princess Diana pearl earrings?!

These were recently identified by Ayvee from Diana Jewels as the "Venus earrings", available from the Met Museum Store (worldwide shipping, and until midnight, 26 May, there's a Memorial Day promotion with 25% off everything). I first heard of these from a post on Tatiana's Delights blog and immediately decided I had to have them and ordered them straight away!
Inspired  by the earrings worn by the Roman goddess of love in Venus in Front of a Mirror, a famous painting by Dutch artist Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577– 1640). In the painting, Venus wears nothing but a bracelet and a pair of pearl teardrop earrings—one of the earrings is white, and the other, reflected in a mirror, is black (the Met Store did originally offer two versions of the earrings, one with white pearls, the other with black, although now only the white pearls remain available).

A detail of the painting via Rubylane.
Princess Diana wore hers quite often, both in black and white - here's a look at some of the occasions when she wore the white version:
At the Queen Mother's 90th birthday celebrations, 4 August 1990 (Getty Images).

At the funeral of her grandmother Lady Fermoy, 15 July 1993 (Princess Diana Fan blog).

On an official visit to Cameroon with Prince Charles, 22 March 1990 (Getty Images).

In July 1991 (via


I'm a big fan of pearls, and it's nice to think Princess Diana owned a pair of these very earrings!

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