by Johannes Vermeer Brand new cut pattern for this popular offering. Adolf Hitler's personal art curator purchased this painting in 1940, allegedly implicitly threatening the owner that the Nazis would take the painting regardless of whether he chose to sell. It is considered among the most valuable of the thousands of paintings that the Nazis illegally obtained during the war. The painting was discovered deep in the Althaussee salt mine in Austria, one of the principal repositories of Nazi stolen art. The original owner and subsequently his heirs have long sought restitution from the Austrian government, which obtained the painting in 1945. It currently hangs in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.