The Girl With the Pearl Earring inspired a fictional account of Vermeer's life by Tracy Chevalier, selling +2m copies. 100yrs ago, the painting itself wasn't even recognised as a Vermeer. It was bought at auction for 2 gilders, 40cents. Interestingly, typical Dutch paintings of the time are narrative based, Vermeer removes symbolic references and demands meditation. You become the calm person in the painting, by holding a look that in reality could only last a moment.
Delft Shelf Clock from the collection of Hervey St. Helens, born in 1909, one of 7 children. He lived in the same home in Rochester, NY all his life, & served in the army during WWII. He earned a Masters Degree in physics at the University of Rochester & also worked at Kodak. Clock collecting became his hobby & he diligently sought after time pieces for 93 years of his life.