1.In this obstructed univers of the novel, where unchanging laws reign over, a sixteen young and, apparently, fragile girl, named Griet, enlists Vermeer's sympathy, and not only, but readers', too. She is a complex character, not just a pawn of the action.
Tracy Chevalier sketches her as a girl who has a hidden side of her personality; side which will reveal in peculiar circumstances, as the special one, in the kitchen, when, for the first time, Vermeer notices her, cutting vegetables for the soup. Not to forget that Griet girl has an artistic education, provided by her father; himself being a faience peinter, who lost his sight.
2. Maybe Vermeer himself...He is the character which I admire least. In despite of the intimacy created between him and Griet, he had no scruples toward her suffering. Between life and art, Vermeer's choice is art, without regrets!