Two weeks of round-the-clock scientific examination has made the Girl with the Pearl Earring one of the most thoroughly researched paintings in the world. Using state-of-the-art scientific techniques to examine every part of the layer structure, we’ve come closer to discovering Vermeer’s secrets. We involved an international team of researchers, scientists and experts to learn as much as we could in this short period of time.
Here are some action photos taken before the examination began in the enclosure:
Working within a plexiglass enclosure in front of the public took some getting used to, but we loved seeing the reactions of the museum public. No-one seemed to be disappointed that they couldn’t see the Girl hanging in her usual spot. On the contrary, the museum visitors gazed into the glass enclosure for long periods of time, and some came back every day to watch the progress of the research.
What have we learned using these new techniques?
We’ve learned many things about the Girl over the course of the two-week examination. We’ve also been able to review the documentary material and re-examine the samples taken in 1994. We’ve collected several terabytes worth of data from all of the different examination techniques. Over the next few months, we’ll crunch the numbers, compare the images, and report some new findings.
This examination is only the beginning. Over the next months and years, we will publish and disseminate our data through different channels. Keep checking this website and subscribe to the Mauritshuis’s social media channels for the latest information.
You may like to think of the Girl as a patient who went to the hospital for a routine scan. We have some immediate results, but you’ll have to sit in the waiting room for a while until we can compare the results of all of the different tests. In the meantime, we’ve opened her ‘patient dossier’ to you through this blog.
For now, the Girl is back, hanging in her usual spot in Room 15 of the Mauritshuis. Next time you come to pay her a visit, maybe you’ll look at her a little bit differently.