Pablo Picasso predicted in 1957, late in his 70s, that someday a lost painting could be discovered underneath one of his own works. X-ray technology has lead a joint team of American and Canadian researchers to just now observe Picasso’s prediction become reality.
It seems that „La Misereuse Accroupie”(The Crouching Beggar), one of Picasso’s 1902 paintings, was created on top of another artist’s work. The painting, displayed at the AGO(Art Gallery of Ontario), has been analysed using x-ray fluorescent spectroscopy, and a landscape painting has been revealed underneath the Spanish painter’s piece.
The non-invasive method used by the researchers revealed in just one day’s work that Picasso used another Barcelona painter’s horizontal landscape to easily work on parts such as the woman’s back in his own piece, probably rotating the original painting 90 degrees in order to make the process easier.
The analysis also revealed that Picasso modified the painting more than once until bringing it to its final form, such subtle elements uncovering more of Picasso’s complex style of work. According to professor Marc Walton, Picasso’s style involved as a general rule changing the process more than once during his work.
An early version of „La Misereuse Accroupie” seems to resemble another one of Picasso’s works, according to AGO curator Kenneth Brummel, who says that the arm discovered by this analysis is very similar to the arm in the watercolour work titled „Femme assise”, which was auctioned recently.
„La Misereuse Accroupie”, created during Picasso’s so called Blue Period, when he focused on monochromatic green and blue colours, has been sold in a New York auction for 149.000 dollars.
The research has been done by members of Northwestern University’s Art Institute of Chicago Centre for Scientific Studies in the Arts, working together with the Washington National Gallery of Art and the Art Gallery of Ontario.