December 1, 2022

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Vermeer?  It's actually a copycat, the National Gallery of Art reveals.

Vermeer? It’s actually a copycat, the National Gallery of Art reveals.

Over the past three decades, art historians have questioned the authenticity of two Vermeer paintings kept in a collection National Gallery of Art in Washington. These were the only paintings among his documented works that were completed on wood panels.

Therefore, while the museum was closed during the coronavirus pandemic, its curators, restorers, and scholars used powerful new technology Look under the paintings And try to find out exactly who is responsible.

On Saturday, the group will present its findings and formally change the attribution to “The Girl with the Flute.”

It’s Vermeer nothing more.

Dye microscopy analysis and advanced imaging technology revealed an unusual approach to the layers of dyes within the plate. Whoever imitated the Dutch artist of the seventeenth century erred in his process, leaving the picture with a rough finish in contrast to the smooth surfaces that distinguished Vermeer as one of history’s best painters.

Kathryn A. said: Dooley, a photographic scientist at the National Gallery who worked on the project said: “Scientific techniques have shown that artists used similar materials in similar ways, but treated paint differently, from undercoating to final surface paint.”

The museum’s collection includes four vermieres, all of which have been examined using advanced technology, including two of his own undisputed Works. “The Girl in the Red Hat” which was drawn like “Girl with the Flute” on a wooden board, and was considered authentic. They will all be shown in A new exhibition at the National Gallery entitled “Vermeer Secrets”, with two a favour counterfeiting From the twentieth century housed in the museum’s collection.

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There are only about thirty surviving examples of Vermeer paintings, so changing the attribution to a single work could have a seismic effect on academic scholarship and the cultural programs built around the artist.

Marjorie E. Wiseman, Head of Northern European Paintings at the National Gallery, worked with her research team to develop possible explanations for who painted The Girl with the Flute.

I concluded that the enigmatic painter was most likely to fall into one of the following categories: Vermeer’s apprentice, family member, amateur paid for lessons, or independent artist hired on a project-by-project basis. But no surviving documents mention any assistants in Vermeer’s studio or students registered with the local union.

“There’s a lot we don’t know,” Wiseman said. “We know nothing about who created this and under what circumstances.”

Recent technological advances have provided museums with new tools to reveal hidden details in their centuries-old paintings. Last year, Dresden state art collections in Germany Restoration completed On Vermeer’s “Girl Reading a Letter in an Open Window” which reveals a portrait of Cupid possibly drawn by a different artist.

Wiseman said that the technology made it possible to understand that the “Girl with the Flute” was designed by someone who knew the secrets of Vermeer’s technique, which was impossible to tell just by looking at the surface of the finished board.

“With these recent advances in imaging methods, the sky has no limits,” she said.

Arthur K. Willock Jr., former head of Northern European painting and Vermeer expert at the National Gallery, said he believed two people were responsible for “Girl With a Flute,” explaining that the famous artist may have painted the picture in front of someone else who finished it. “I struggled with this painting forever,” he said, adding that the painting was attributed to Vermeer Circle as recently as the National Gallery. 1995 Exhibition about the artist.

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One fringe theory among historians speculates that Vermeer’s eldest daughter, Maria, Become his secret disciple He completed some paintings after his death, including this painting.

Anita Georgievska Shine, author of A modern book about the Dutch artist. “I still think Vermeer probably started out.”

The National Gallery’s research provided additional insights. Georgievska Shane said the awkward brushstrokes in “Girl With the Red Hat” may support a popular theory that Vermeer Use the dark camera to project images onto his work surface, which would have required him to quickly sketch out his scenes before the light faded. However, museum researchers said the brush strokes contain no evidence of a link to camera blocking, a type of pinhole camera.

Despite its reduced status, next year “Girl With a Flute” is still expected to travel to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in exchange for the so-called Largest exhibition of Vermeer’s work. The National Gallery has no plans to remove the artwork from display.

“It’s not a bad painting,” Wiseman said, explaining that it can become a powerful reminder of how museum research is constantly changing our perception of the past. “The artists had people working alongside them and imitating them every step of the way.”