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Formerly Classified as 17th-Century Dutch Paintings


(click to enlarge) In this photo taken between 1944 and 1973, five paintings donated to the gallery by Andrew Mellon and the Widener Collection as works by Johannes Vermeer hang in Main Floor gallery 44. Girl with a Flute, Woman Holding a Balance, and Girl with the Red Hat hang in the center, while the imitations The Lacemaker and The Smiling Girl hang on either side. (Image courtesy of the Gallery Archives)

A few works that originally entered the Gallery’s collection as 17th-century Dutch paintings have been found to belong to other schools or periods. These works include The Lacemaker and The Smiling Girl, both of which were attributed to Johannes Vermeer when they entered the Gallery in 1937 as part of the original Andrew Mellon bequest but were subsequently determined to be 20th-century imitations.

For more information, see Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “The Story of Two Vermeer Forgeries,” in Shop Talk: Studies in Honor of Seymour Slive, eds. C. P. Schneider, W. W. Robinson and A. I. Davies (Cambridge, MA, 1995), 271–275.

Artist Title Accession Number
Imitator of Johannes Vermeer The Lacemaker 1937.1.54
Imitator of Johannes Vermeer The Smiling Girl 1937.1.55
Imitator of Abraham Bosschaert Vase of Flowers in a Niche 1992.51.3