On 31 January and 1 February 1944, a public sale took place at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels where the portrait of a young girl credited to Albert Cuyp was on sale. Subsequently, the painting—it is not known if directly or indirectly via middlemen—became part of the property of the Dorotheum which sold it to the State Arts and Crafts Museum in Vienna in July 1944. The price had been lowered from 75,000 Reichsmarks to 35,000 Reichsmarks after the signature “Albert Cuyp” had turned out to be forgery.
After the end of the war, Belgium reclaimed the painting as an object that had been part of a deal during German occupation. On 15 July 1947, the French military governor in Vienna informed the MAK that the Commission for the Control of Goods had decided in their meeting on 8 July 1947 that the painting was to be restituted to Belgium. On 1 August 1947, the MAK handed the portrait of a young girl over to a Belgium lieutenant. The purchase price was not refunded.