In 1935 Lord Jaromir Czernin who owned, together with his brother, "The painter in his Studio", by Vermeer, wanted to sell it to the American Secretary of State, who was an art collector. It is said that the sum was between one and six million dollars. However, the Austrian officials refused to allow the export.

In 1939 the German businessman, Reemtsma, showed interest in the painting, but he also had to get official permission and when government officials found out about the transaction, Hitler rejected it.

The lawyer of Czernin, at that point suggested that the German officials therefore buy the painting and Hitler showed a lot of interest. He was, however, annoyed that the painting was so expensive. To complicate matters, Czernin's brother, Eugen, had decided that he did not want to sell the painting and so the party office tried to convince him by sending someone to try to change his mind. He was told that if he didn't sell it, it would be taken away anyway and so in the end he agrees to sell.

On Oct 11, 1940, the director of the Art History Museum of Vienna sent a telegraph to Hitler's headquarters announcing that he was bringing Hitler the painting.

Kubin, Ernst: Sonderauftrag Linz, Orac, Wien, 1989 KEEP SEARCHING FOR THE VERMEER !!