Girl with a flute - Jan Vermeer

Girl with a Flute

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This painting is very similar in style to the girl with a red hat and many parallels exist between the two, for example, the chair the girls are sitting in and the exotic hats they are wearing. Both girls are alert and looking toward the viewer. One unusual item that can be noted about this work is that the instrument the girl is holding is not depicted in detail and looks unfinished compared to the rest of the painting, this in itself is unusual because Vermeer's works are usually correct down to the last detail and he would certainly have paid more attention to the finer details of the musical instrument. Many experts say this work is a fake and not painted by Vermeer at all they cite the instrument as a good reason and the hat the girl is wearing is not quite right. In the Netherlands hats such as these were not likely to have been seen as it is a coolie hat and the stripes on the hat could not possible have been like that in reality. Given this evidence it is possible that Vermeer did not paint it, indeed it has been stated that one of Vermeer's children painted this work or that Vermeer started it and someone else finished it after his death. It is also unusual in that though the majority of Vermeer's paintings are on canvas as most of his contemporaries of the time were, this work is on an oak panel. Either way it is an interesting conundrum

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