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The folds of this jacket are handled so differently from picture to picture that it appears to be made of various kinds of fabric, although a side-by-side comparison of the shapes and the distribution of the spots on the fur trim of three paintings () assures us that it is one and the same article.
The genre of Kunstkamer painting was developed in the first decade of the seventeenth century in Antwerp and within the following decade emerged into a specialty of Frans Francken the Younger (1587–1642), Jan Brueghel (1568–1625), Willem van Haecht (1593–1637) etc.
Historians of costume tell us that the spotted fur trim of Vermeer's jacks was probably not precious ermine but cat, squirrel or mouse decorated with faux spots.
In fact, even in the inventories of the wealthiest women, ermine is never mentioned.
Traveling from town to town, journeymen would have gained experience in other workshops.
Itinerant journeymen were not subject to most of the regulations protecting municipal craft guilds and unlike apprentices, they were not recorded in official sources such as the registers of the painters, and, thus, it is impossible to quantify the number of journeyman who worked in Dutch workshops.