Hidden painting found under Picasso masterpiece


#1

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#2

Did anyone investigate possibility that it might even have originally been “your fellow subjects”?


#3

Who would described this as one of Picasso’s most famous paintings? I certainly wouldn’t.


#4

I’m more interested in whether it’d ever be possible to see the colours.

Now *that’*d be an impressive trick.

…Can anyone think of a use for this tech that doesn’t fall under anthropology, IOW an application other than formalised navel-gazing?

(Not that the navel-gazing doesn’t have its uses, but occasionally you might get the feeling some folks have lost sight of the whole point of being smart with science…)


#5

It’s interesting, but I’m not sure how much it really reveals. Picasso re-used a canvas, which wasn’t unusual.

I’m more fascinated by the story of Millet’s Angelus, which Salvador Dali was convinced was originally a funeral scene rather than a simple moment of prayer. An X-ray of the painting revealed a small coffin, suggesting Dali may have been right.


#6

I’m not sure whether multispectral imaging can do that or not, but I do know people use x-ray fluorescence imaging to reconstruct color images of ancient artwork and inscriptions. Many pigments are (or were) made using heavy metals you can measure with x-rays, and chisels leave traces of metal in stone tablets.


#7

Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get the strippers and the solvents out, and dig a few test trenches-- see if we can’t confirm our geophys results!


#8

Hm, he looks like Lenin.


#9

They’re trying to determine the subject of a Picasso? I guess it’s easier than a Rothko… but not a lot easier.


#10

Do you have a link for the X-ray? It’s fascinating contemplating why the child would be changed to potatoes.


#11

Unfortunately I don’t. There are several reports of it, and it’s a story they love to tell at the Dali museum in St. Petersburg, but I can’t find any pictures of the X-rayed version.

There’s speculation that Millet changed the subject because a painting of a child’s funeral wouldn’t sell very well.


#12

This blogpost reproduces the X-ray, but it also implies that Dali was not interested in being an entirely “objective” art historian.


#13

You don’t say.


#14

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