Portrait of desire

28th May 2004 at 01:00
The simmering mutual attraction between Johannes Vermeer and his family's young maid is the subject of Peter Webber's stunningly beautiful directorial debut, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Starring Colin Firth as the 17th-century Dutch painter, and Scarlett Johansson as Griet, the peasant girl who becomes his muse, the film recreates the soft light and colour of Vermeer's most famous works. In this fictional tale, Griet comes to work at the Vermeer household, overseen by the artist's haughty wife, Catharina, and her mother, Maria. When Vermeer's patron commissions a portrait of the girl, the developing relationship threatens Griet's courtship with a local butcher boy and draws the opprobrium of Catharina and the painter's 10-year-old daughter.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is released to buy and rent on VHSand DVDby Pathe Distribution on May 31, and The TES has two copies of each format to give away. For a chance of winning one, send your name and address on a postcard or by email, telling us what format you prefer, to the address on the right marked Pearl offer. The first four entries drawn on June 3 will win.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today