Discoveries were made about Vermeer’s brushwork, the use of pigments, and how he 'built up' his painting in different layers back in 1665. The research – which involved non-invasive imaging and scanning techniques, digital microscopy and paint sample analyses – was carried out in 2018 under the name The Girl in the Spotlight.
Today the Mauritshuis unveiled a web page to announce new insights and following an introduction by museum director Martine Gosselink while the three researchers involved in the project presented their findings online... see www.mauritshuis.nl/en/girlinthespotlight
The major discoveries were:
1 The girl was originally painted before a green curtain in the righthand side of the painting, which dramatically changes the black void she appears in now.
2 Vermeer’s signature can be discerned in the top left hand corner of the painting.
3 The girl has eyelashes, which makes her more personal.
4 The earring has no discernible hook and the lead white pigment used to create the world-famous earring was mined from the UK’s Peak District. Lead white was also used in other significant areas of the painting including her face and collar.
5 Fine hairs from Vermeer’s brushes have been discovered embedded in the painting on the Girl’s face.