I just finished reading the novel Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland. The ideas of art, beauty, relationships and history all come together in this story. The Dutch artist Vermeer, known for paintings such as Girl with the Pearl Earring, is at the center of the narrative with a fictional painting known as "Girl in Hyacinth Blue." We follow the lineage of the painting's owners back through history, learning how the painting has been passed along and end at the point of its inspiration.
Though the novel and painting are fictional, the story is captivating as the author explores ideas central to our concepts of beauty and love.
Inspired by the landscape of Amsterdam and history of Vermeer's time after reading this novel, I've turned to John Galliano's Spring 2009 Dior Couture collection to showcase the Cavalier period's beauty.