Girl with flute is a Vermeer, Rijksmuseum says despite U.S. researchers contrary claim
The Rijksmuseum is convinced that the painting Girl with a Flute was made by Johannes Vermeer, despite American scientists previously stating this was not the case. Rijksmuseum director Taco Dibbits and head of painting and sculpture Pieter Roelofs said that their own research confirmed the painting was by the Dutch master, Parool reports.
Researchers from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where the painting hung for a long time, examined the Girl with a Flute during the coronavirus pandemic. There have long been doubts about whether Vermeer painted the painting because it does not look as good as his other work. The Americans concluded in October that the Girl with a Flute had likely been painted by one of Vermeer’s students, as the pigments and brushstrokes deviate from Vermeer’s techniques.
According to Roelofs, the research carried out by the National Gallery is exemplary, but researchers at the Rijksmuseum, the Mauritshuis, and the University of Antwerp can take a slightly broader view. “That means we see aspects that they haven’t seen until now. The images we look at are the same, but in Amsterdam, we see something different than they do in Washington.”
After many comparisons with Vermeer’s other work, “we can now supplement the image by pointing out other paintings,” Roelofs said to the newspaper. “We believe that what we say is correct. Our argument is clear and simple and based on advanced insight. Girl with a Flute is loaned out as ‘not a Vermeer,’ but we will hang it up as a real Vermeer.”
The same applies to the paintings Saint Praxedis and Woman Seated at the Virginal.
The three paintings currently hang in the Frick Madison Museum in New York. The museum will soon loan them to the Rijksmuseum, which will exhibit them from February 10 to June 4 next year.
Around 35 paintings are attributed to Vermeer. Girl with a Flute was rediscovered in 1906 ad donated to the National Gallery of Art in 1942.