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Research shows that Girl with a Pearl Earring represents a green curtain NOW

Johannes Vermeer painted ‘his’ Girl with a Pearl Earring in front of a green curtain, the Mauritshuis discovered after research into, among other things, the technique used by the painter. This curtain has disappeared over the centuries because the paint discolored.

It has also been discovered with the help of scans that Vermeer painted eyelashes around the girl’s eyes, who were previously thought to be eyelashless. Small hairs were seen in microscopic examination. These too have disappeared over time.

About the color palette used, it was discovered that it consists of the colors red, different yellow tones, brown, blue, black tones and two types of white. Vermeer used the two shades of white to achieve a transition from light to shadow in the girl’s skin.

Scan examination of the girl’s eyes. (image: Mauritshuis)

“Who is a girl remains mystery”

On Tuesday, the Mauritshuis will publish the results of the survey, which was conducted in 2018 under the name The Girl in the Spotlight. “These discoveries, among other things, make the girl more personal than previously thought, but the question of who exactly was the girl in the painting remains a mystery,” says the Hague museum.

The discoveries were made using scans, digital microscopy and paint sample analyzes. The researchers wanted to discover how Johannes Vermeer painted his work and which materials he used for this.

Painting last examined in 1994

The results were announced online Tuesday, as the original press meeting due to the coronavirus could not take place.

The painting was last examined in 1994 and the techniques have improved greatly since then.

The girl with the pearl is one of the crown jewels of the Mauritshuis and the most popular work by Vermeer among the public. The American writer Tracy Chevalier was inspired by her book Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was filmed by Peter Webber with Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson.

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