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ENC 3315
Professor Marinara
Assignment 2
Due Date: October 8th, 2014

As an advertising and public relations major, it has been brought to my

attention that many forms of classic art created centuries before our time are being
used to represent newer products and services in a very in depth way. What is
interesting about these advertisements is that at first glance, consumers recognize
the famous piece of art. When looking deeper into the ad, consumers gain a trust in
that product due to the effort and research that corporations put into creating it.
When deciding what to analyze, I took some time to do some research on two
famous pieces of art that I have always recognized with me throughout growing up.
The Girl With the Pearl Earring and The Mona Lisa are faces that stick out to
consumers, especially young ladies, due to the elegant appeal that the artists put
forth within their creations of the two.

Johannes Vermeer created the Girl With the Pearl Earring in the year 1665.

The portrait of the innocent young woman, suggested to be Vermeers daughter, has
been an iconic piece of classical art, displayed in museums and studied in arts and
humanities courses all around the world. The portrait is of a girl who looks very soft
and innocent, sporting a focal point pearl earring, and a mustard and royal blue

headpiece. The young girl isnt exactly smiling, but has her mouth open ever so
slightly; enough for audiences to wonder if she is about to tell a story, her story.

It is suggested that Vermeer painted many portraits of his daughter. This one

in particular is a portrait of her head, while many others are of her full body
(Binstock Web). Whether this young lady be his daughter or not, the meaning
behind the painting is a mystery. The fascinating thing about classical art is that we
truly dont know the meaning of the piece. In todays world, an artist creates a new
piece of work and reporters get the full story and it is all over the Internet in hours.
Vermeer left his mark on history with this mysterious painting of a girl that we
really cant read nor understand in one painting.

The ad that I have chosen that really speaks to me features The Girl With the
Pearl Earring, in an even more mysterious way. Lego had an ad campaign that
included a series of Lego creations that were modeled after famous works of art. In

the advertisement, there are no words, and no clear pictorials other than the Lego
logo. I really admire the way that Lego went about this, because they use just
enough color and shape in order for consumers to be able to tell the famous piece of
art they are replicating, yet they leave room for young and aspiring artists to realize
that they can create their own version or creation of something magnificent.

In the photo of the advertisement below, you can see that Lego has blurred

out the painting into Lego brick shapes. I think that Lego artists did this not only to
represent the fact that you can create your own mystery by learning from other
artists, but so that they could give credit to Vermeer. The bricks are blurred, which
represents the mystery that Vermeer created when painting The Girl With the Pearl

I believe that this advertisement reaches a series of audiences, but the most
important ones are kids and their families. Children want to play and create and
explore, and their families want them to be the best they can be, starting to grow as
soon as they can. In Barthes writing on Toys, he explains that the French would
always push their children into transitioning into adulthood with the toys they
purchased them. The adult Frenchman sees his child as another self. (Barthes,
Toys) I feel that Lego as a company also used the painting of The Girl With The Pearl
Earring, in order to stress to parents that children can play and learn at the same
The next advertisement in Legos campaign was the Mona Lisa. As many
educated children know, the Mona Lisa was created by the famous Leonardo Da
Vinci, and is known as one of his most famous works of art. Leonardo created the
famous painting of the lady we know nothing about in the year 1503. Historians
believe that Leonardo spent over four years creating this masterpiece, due to the
fact that he became attached to the painting itself. (Loadstar, Da Vinci) Many people
who have studied the Mona Lisa all comment on the way she follows you across the
room when walking by her portrait, but what is interesting, is that researchers have
found that her smile, wasnt truly hers. They have found that her particular smile is
represented in sculptures all over the world from that very same time period. Other
historians have hunches that the Mona Lisa is in fact a male in disguise, possibly
representing a self -portrait of Leonardo

The reason I relate this famous work of art to The Girl With the Pearl Earring
is because the artists that created the two works of art, set up the future generations
of the human kind to not only respect and cherish these paintings, but to make them
think. These paintings have created a thought process for researchers, students, and
admirers endure, and will continue to have that impact for years to come. However,
how have these famous paintings changed over the years? It is normal for college
students to learn about the classical arts period in their studies, but what about

those younger than college level students? How do children look at these artists
work compared to how college students did, and their parents did before them? The
truth is, that these forms of art have stayed the same, its just the smarter people
become and the deeper people dig for answers, the more we learn about the true
story behind it.
Legos mission with these advertisements, and the many others that were
involved within this campaign, was to spark a thought in their audiences minds. To
the families purchasing the Legos, the advertisement was meant to get them
thinking about if the toys they have been purchasing, is what is best for their early
learning stages. Like Barthes says, The merest set of blocks, provided it is not too
refined, implies a very different learning of the world (Barthes, Toys) To the
children who look at the advertisements, Lego attempts to get them thinking Im
creative just like Vermeer and Da Vinci. How did Lego come about this ad
campaign? Lego analyzed the resources they had in history, such as the paintings,
the artists, and the unanswered questions. I also believe that Lego dug a little into
the future as well, realizing that young children would be learning about these art
eras in their college years as well, so why not get them excited now?

Art is ever the same on the original canvas it is produced, but forever changes
in the minds of new generations. The advertisement world today not only uses
classical art to reach their intended audiences, but to also display that they are
keeping those who built us up from centuries before us, are being referred to and
respected when creating and brainstorming new products. I think that art, whether
it be classical, gothic, ancient roman, and more, should continue to be represented
throughout years to come when promoting and inventing new and improved
products for todays ever changing and ever growing world.

Sources Cited

1) Binstock, Benjamin. "A Provocative New Theory About the Girl With the Pearl
Earring." Slate Magazine. 30 Oct. 2013. Web.
2) "Mona Lisa." , Painted from 1503 to 1507. Web. 6 Oct. 2014.
3) Atkins, Scott. "Barthes-toys." Barthes-toys. 1 Sept. 1995. Web. 6 Oct. 2014.