National Gallery of Art finds one of its Vermeer works was painted by someone else

The National Gallery of Art announced Friday it will reveal new findings about Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer to be examined at the Vermeer’s Secrets exhibition, opening Saturday.

The findings from a team of curators, conservators and scientists indicate that the Girl with a Flute painting wasn’t actually made by Vermeer, but rather, an associate of his.

According to the National Gallery of Art, it disputed the belief that Vermeer worked alone, and was viewed as a mentor to the next generation of artists. This is in part due to Vermeer’s collection of works having only about 35 accepted paintings.

Girl With a Flute — once thought to be Vermeer’s own, but now attributed to an associate of his studio. (Courtesy National Gallery of Art)

“The existence of other artists working with Johannes Vermeer is perhaps one of the most significant new findings about the artist to be discovered in decades. It fundamentally changes our understanding of Vermeer,” Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art, said in a statement.

“I am incredibly proud of the interdisciplinary team of National Gallery staff who worked together to study these paintings, building on decades of research and using advanced scientific technology to uncover exciting discoveries that add new insight to what we know about the enigmatic artist.”

Additionally, the curators’ research concludes that Vermeer’s Girl with the Red Hat painting was created at the critical juncture of his career.

It showed the Dutch artist playing around with new techniques, such as vivid colors and a bolder manner of applying the paint, according to the National Gallery of Art.

They conclude that the painting, which was dated circa 1666 to 1667, should actually be dated circa 1669.

People can view Vermeer’s Secrets exhibition from Oct. 8 to Jan. 8, 2023.

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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