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Researchers Discover New Details About Hidden Portrait Beneath Pablo Picasso Painting

© Flickr / Beate KnappePablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.03.2022
This is not the first time that art experts have made extraordinary findings in the works of the famous artist. Using X-rays, one expert discovered a hidden painting under the 1903 masterpiece "The Blind Man's Meal". Last year, two doctoral researchers used AI to recreate the hidden painting dubbed "The Lonesome Crouching Nude".
Researchers have discovered new details about the hidden portrait beneath Pablo Picasso's 1901 painting "The Blue Room", Axios has reported. The findings were presented in an exhibition at the Philips Collection art museum in Washington, DC.

Using data from X-radiography, infrared (IR) reflectance imaging spectroscopy, and X-ray fluorescence mapping, experts were able to see a portrait of a man as well as the stroke and the pigments the Spanish artist used. The presence of mercury suggests that Picasso used vermillion, researchers say.

Further analysis has since revealed that "The Blue Room" was painted directly on top of the portrait with Picasso not priming it. Experts also said that the artist's palette was becoming more subdued.

"There is still more to learn from some of the world's most studied paintings", said Patricia Favero an associate conservator at the Phillips Collection.

The portrait hidden beneath the "The Blue Room" is not the first secret painting uncovered by art experts. Several works by Picasso have been discovered over the years. Some of the paintings have been recreated using artificial intelligence.
In 2021, Anthony Bourached and George Cann, doctoral researchers at Britain's University College London, revealed the "The Lonesome Crouching Nude", which hid for almost a century under the artist's masterpiece "The Blind Man's Meal".
© PhotoPicasso's hidden painting
Picasso's hidden painting - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.03.2022
Picasso's hidden painting
Bourached and Cann trained AI to replicate Picasso's brushstrokes after analysing multiple works by the artist. Their initiative was criticised by the UK representatives of Picasso's estate, who accused both experts of violating copyright laws.

"Moreover, this Artificial Intelligence that 'learned' to paint 'like Picasso' will never have the sensitivity of a painter whose creativity is expressed in front of each blank canvas. The 'result' of this Artificial Intelligence is not a work and it is indecency to say otherwise. A machine cannot replace an artist, nor complete the work of an artist who has abandoned it on the way of its creation", said Claudia Andrieu, the head of legal affairs for Picasso's estate.

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