by Mabel Roy
  • 1 minute read
  • August 06, 2020
Researchers Discover A Painting Underneath One Of Picasso’s Iconic Works

A team of researchers has discovered a neoclassical still life painting underneath one of Pablo Picasso’s masterpieces, Still Life.  With extensive applied X-radiography and infrared imaging, researchers at the Art Institute of Chicago have uncovered an entirely different composition beneath the renowned painting. Curiosity arose due to the surface of the original painting appearing to be wrinkled with multiple layers. The findings are now discussed  in a newly published report in the journal  Applied Sciences

Pablo Picasso, Still Life, February 4, 1922. Oil on canvas (81.6 × 100.3 cm). Image credit: Art Institute of Chicago 

In a statement by the Art Institute of Chicago, Allison Langley, Head of Paintings Conservation says, “Picasso was a playful and inventive painter who often seemed to have more ideas than materials at hand. He frequently painted over earlier works that were partially or fully finished, often responding to the colors, forms or themes of the earlier composition.”

Infrared image of the reverse of Picasso’s Still Life showing traces of the first composition: a neo-classical still life, Image credit  Applied Sciences

The fascinating aspect of the painting is that Picasso may never have wanted his previous attempt at a painting to be noticed. Interestingly, this isn’t the first piece that was done on a previously used canvas by the famous Spanish artist. His Blue Period  (1901-1904) work La Soupe (1902) features at least 13 distinctive coats of pigment while a hidden landscape scene was found beneath the La Miséreuse Accroupie, or The Crouching Woman (1902).

Image credit: @ppablopicasso

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