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a sixteen-year old girl working as a servant in the Vermeer household, is the protagonist and narrator in the novel.

Johannes Vermeer

a Dutch painter.

Catharina Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer's wife.

Maria Thins

Catharina's Mother


the Vermeers' other older household servant who initially guides Griet through her duties.


Vermeer's eldest daughter who befriends Griet.


the Vermeer's second daughter who antagonizes Griet throughout her stay


the butcher's son who is in love with Griet

van Ruijven

a patron of Vermeer who molests maids. His eye is caught by Griet, and he requests a portrait of her


Griet's 10-year-old sister who dies of the plague.


is a blind tile-painter


Griet's older brother that works at a tile factory as an apprentice

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