|After the painting was finished in 1937 he had to find the right mark. Dr. Bredius was picked because he based most of his finds on gut reaction and not science. Best of all he was in his eighties, he believed in the 'lost' Vermeer religious period, and for revenge for exposing the Hals forgery years before.
A well respected lawyer(G.A. Boon) was hired to present the painting to Dr. Bredius. He was to tell Bredius that he was representing a well known family from Italy who needed the money. As soon as Bredius saw the painting he proclaimed it to be the greatest masterpiece of Vermeer.
With such raves Boon expected a qiuck sale in France. It was quickly recognized as a fake by a number of French experts. Word never got out because everyone thought it was too ridiculous to mention. But the Dutch had their own agenda.
Bredius agrued that a Dutch treasure should not be allowed out of the country. The Boymans Museum, Rembrandt Society, R. Hoogenijk, and Bredius, himself all pitched in for the painting. The cost would be equal to about $5,000,000 today. The painting was hung in the Boymans main gallery. Then came the German occupation and no one could travel to Holland to see the painting.