If the paparazzi were around in the 17th century, they would have swarmed the Girl with a Pearl Earring.
The painting is the centerpiece of a new exhibit at the de Young Museum that showcases some of the finest Dutch compositions from that golden age. Johannes Vermeer?s masterpiece is known as the Dutch Mona Lisa, because the subject depicted in the exquisite rendering remains unknown. While you're waiting to take a peek at the enigmatic woman, who's sure to draw a crowd, don't miss the chance to see these three showstoppers:
View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds Don?t rush through the first room of the exhibit, which features sweeping European landscapes like this one by Jacob van Ruisdael. The painter captured the natural beauty of his local countryside in all its bucolic glory.
The Goldfinch This painting in the still-life section of the exhibit makes up for its diminutive size with its brilliant brushwork. Carel Fabritius, one of Rembrandt?s pupils, shows off his trompe l?oeil technique in his elegant rendering of the small bird.
Portrait of an Elderly Man The exhibit includes four paintings by Rembrandt himself, and some would say this portrait is the pièce de résistance. His depiction of an older gentleman displays the artist?s deft impressionist skills and draws you in with true-to-life details such as the crooked hat and unbuttoned jacket.