Art historians may have finally solved a centuries-old puzzle over the origin of a fashion favorite: blue jeans.

The discovery lies in the artwork of an unknown 17-century north Italian artist, dubbed the "Master of the Blue Jeans," which went on display in Paris this week, the AFP reported.

The paintings reportedly reveal a common clothing detail in each work -- indigo blue fabric threaded with white in the skirts and jackets of peasants.

"The works are very attached to the detail of clothing -- it was very rare for a painter to characterize the poor with such detail," curator Gerlinde Gruber told the news agency.

"And there is blue jean in every painting except one," she said.

For years, historians have debated the ancestry of blue jeans, tracing the fashion staple to two possible sources outside the U.S.: the French city of Nimes and Genoa in Italy, the AFP reported.

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