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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #112538: Tracy Chevalier and a painting by Vermeer
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Speaking | Newspaper | Find the word [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - On the phone - Interacting with someone - Dialogue : What time...? - Eating out-Vocabulary - Differences between Like and As - One/ They/ People.... - Dialogue : On the phone ( formal) - Conditional clauses
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    Tracy Chevalier and a painting by Vermeer







    Many of you have heard about or have read this novel by Tracy Chevalier : 'Girl with a Pearl Earring', in which she imagines 'WHO' the model  in the painting by Vermeer was.



    Surely everyone has enjoyed her writing, as well as her imagination.

    Aiming to know Tracy better, I looked for documents which could satisfy my curiosity. I was instantly attracted by a short video in which she talks about her feelings concerning another painting by Vermeer : 

    ' A Young Woman seated at a Virginal ' .

    I thought :  "Well ,  if Mrs Tracy Chevalier herself is speaking , it must be the best I can find ! "  ...    Hmmm ... I must say it was more difficult than I expected !  

    Doesn't she say that a Master sometimes makes mistakes ? All the same a famous writer does not speak very clearly at times ! 




    Anyway ! Her speech is interesting enough to merit that you listen to it until you can fill in the gaps with the right words.  It's worth it!


     Lots of thanks to Ian for being so helpful with the video.

    English exercise "Tracy Chevalier and a painting by Vermeer" created by riverango with The test builder
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    Now, I'm joined again by the Tracy Chevalier. Tracy, it's been suggested, I think many times, that this painting A young woman seated at a is a pendant piece, a companion, to The Girl standing by the Virginal. Do you see them in interrelated terms or do you think they're self-contained ? I go back and forth about it. You know, for certain, they're hung in the same in the National Gallery so it's quite tempting to see them together. They are probably painted around the same and yet this one's has a very different feel to it. It's much darker; a lot of it is quite murky. If you see, the painting in the is very murky and the floor's a bit dingy when you think about . . . you usually see those tiles kind of popping out and what you see popping out is her face, her and the bass viola there. She's . . . has a beautiful face but you look at the rest of her and some of the painting is not actually that great either. Look at those arms and the somebody who likened them to pig trotters and I'm sort of laughing at that. We don't normally allow ourselves to criticise master painters we just think every painting they've done is perfect and that's not the , even with Vermeer. I think there's this feeling of strain about this that I don't see in "The lady standing at the virginal" in quite the same way. This is a darker .

    End of the free exercise to learn English: Tracy Chevalier and a painting by Vermeer
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