Why is Vermeer's "Girl with the Pearl Earring" considered a masterpiece? - James Earle

Important Vocabulary Words From The Video


Serenely means calmly and peacefully. When you are serenely happy, you are calm and happy in the face of difficult circumstances.

  • She was serenely happy as she watched the sunset.
  • The serene forest was a beautiful sight.

When there are a lot of people around who are not involved in the situation, they are called onlookers. This means that they are not involved in the fight, or the dispute.

  • The bystanders were watching the fight between the two groups.
  • The bystanders were watching the protesters rally.

Foreshortening is the process of making things look shorter than they actually are. This can be done in a number of ways, including using perspective, perspective distortion, and enlarging or reducing parts of the image.

  • The painting features a lot of foreshortening because the perspective is distorted.
  • The image was foreshortened so that the person looked closer to the camera.

To recede is to move backwards, to go down or away. The water was receding into the ocean, and the land was becoming more and more distant.

  • The company is going to have to recede because they are losing money every month.
  • The recession is receding, and the economy is starting to recover.

Chiaroscuro is the use of light and dark to create an effect that is dramatic and beautiful. It is often used to add depth and realism to a picture.

  • The painting is chiaroscuro because the light and dark areas are very sharply defined.
  • The chiaroscuro effect is used to create the mood of the scene.

A turban is a type of headdress that is usually worn by Muslims. It's made out of a cloth that is wrapped around the head and then tied in a knot.

  • She was wearing a beautiful turban.
  • The man is wearing a traditional turban.

To be worldy is to be worldly. This means that the person is knowledgeable about the world outside of their own community.

  • The worldy woman was interested in all the different cultures that she met.
  • The worldy man was interested in learning about different religions.

Varnished is a type of paint or finish that has been treated with a varnish. The varnish makes the surface of the object waterproof and resistant to damage.

  • The wood was varnished to make it resistant to moisture.
  • The varnish made the surface of the furniture very smooth.

To smudge something is to make it dirty or smear it with something. You might smudge ink or paint on a piece of paper.

  • He smudged his makeup all over his face.
  • She smudged food all over her plate.