Has Vermeer's studio really been found?

Dec. 29, 2004 at 6:51 PM

DELFT, Netherlands, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Art restorer Daan Hartmann claims the studio he has been working in for more than 20 years was once used by the 17th century Dutch master Jan Vermeer.

Hartmann wants to have the site added to the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's World Heritage list and turned into a museum, it was reported Wednesday.

The Art Newspaper said Hartmann, 60, has presented archival research to back up his claim to the mayor of Delft in pressing his plans to turn the studio into a tourist attraction. Delft has had an influx of tourists interested in Vermeer ever since the publication of the best-selling novel, "The Girl With the Pearl Earring," inspired by the artist's painting of the same name, and release of a film based on it.

The studio overlooks Delft's Old Church in the heart of the city best known for its blue-and-white porcelain. According to Hartmann's research, Vermeer rented one of the studios in the building in the course of his brief career. The artist died in 1675 at the age of 43, and less than 35 paintings authenticated as Vermeers have survived.

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