Historians have questioned the authenticity of two paintings held in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. They were the only paintings that were done on wood.
While the museum was closed during the coronaviruses epidemic, it used new technology to try to figure out who was behind the paintings.
The group will present its findings on Saturday and change the name of the song.
It is no longer a piece of art from the 17th century.
There was an unusual approach to layers within the painting. The image of the 17th-century Dutch artist had a coarse finish unlike the smooth surfaces that have distinguished him as one of history's finest painters.
The artists used the same materials in different ways, but they handled the paint differently according to the science techniques.
Two of his works were examined with advanced technology and included in the museum's collection. The painting on the wooden panel of the girl with the red hat was authentic. Two forgeries from the 20th century that are in the museum's collection will be included in a new exhibition at the National Gallery.
Changing the attribution for a single painting can have a huge impact on the academic scholarship and cultural programming that surrounds the artist.
Marjorie E.Wieseman, head of the National Gallery's department of Northern European paintings, worked with its research team to develop possible explanations for who painted "girl with a flute."
She thought that the mystery painter was most likely to fall into one of the following categories: an apprenticeship to Vermeer, a family member, an amateur who paid for lessons or a freelancer. There is no mention of any assistants in the documents.
We don't know a lot of things. We don't know who created this or what happened to it.
New tools have been given to museums to uncover hidden details in their paintings. Last year, the Dresden State Art Collections in Germany completed a restoration of a painting that may have been done by another artist.
The technology made it possible to see that the person who modeled "Girl With a Flute" knew the secrets of the painting.
She said that the sky is the limit with these latest developments.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., the National Gallery's previous head of Northern European paintings and a Vermeer expert, said that he believed that two people were responsible for the painting. He said that the painting had been attributed to the circle of Vermeer as recently as the 1995 exhibition on the artist.
Historians theorize that Maria became his secret apprentice and completed some paintings after his death.
Aneta Georgievska-Shine, the author of a recent book about the Dutch artist, said that she wasn't sure if she agreed with the museum's decision. It's more likely that it was started by Vermeer.
The research done by the National Gallery gave more insight. A popular theory is that Vermeer used a camera obscura to project images onto his work surface, which would have required him to quickly sketch out his scenes. There was no evidence of a link between the brushstrokes and the camera obscura.
The largest exhibition of Vermeer's work is being billed as the largest exhibition of Girl With a Flute, despite its reduced status. The artwork won't be removed from view.
A potent reminder of how museum research is constantly shifting our perception of the past can be found in the painting. People emulated artists at every step of their journey.