Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Technology peers into Picasso's Art, revealing creation process

Technology peers into Picasso's Art, revealing creation process

During his Blue Period, the Spanish artist had a tendency to overpaint earlier work - even that not done by him - and when his famous Crouching Woman (La Misereuse Accroupie) was placed under the scanner, scientists were both surprised and delighted to see that this painting was a flawless example of his activity.

It was painted during Picasso's Blue Period, when he mainly used monochromatic shades of blue and blue-green.

Researchers used imaging technology to identify the underlying painting.

They believed there was an underpainting because of different paint textures.

A new examination of one of master artist Pablo Picasso's famous works revealed that he painted over a landscape created by another artist.

'[It] became clear to me that the arm hidden under the visible surface of La Misereuse Accroupie is the same as the proper right arm of a crouching woman in a Picasso watercolour recently sold at auction, ' he said.

"Picasso had no qualms about changing things during the painting process" said Marc Walton, a research professor at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering.

Technology peers into Picasso's Art, revealing creation process
Technology peers into Picasso's Art, revealing creation process

It was done by flipping the canvas 90 degrees and making use of some of the features of the landscape as the outline of the crouched woman's back.

The X-ray technology revealed behind the painting of The Crouching Beggar was a landscape image of Barcelona. The initial version of the painting was narrower and the woman's head was tilted the other way. The arm of the crouched beggar also bears a striking resemblance to Picasso's famous portrait of his lover Dora, The Femme Assise, which was sold at a Christie's auction in 2015, in NY for $149,000.

'Our global team - consisting of scientists, a curator and a conservator - has begun to tease apart the complexity of La Misereuse accroupie, uncovering subtle changes made by Picasso as he worked toward his final vision, ' he added.

A team of researchers at Northwestern University used a non-invasive technique called x-ray fluorescent spectroscopy to scan a painting called La Miséreuse Accroupie (The Crouching Beggar).

The findings will be presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas.

"Many more paintings are waiting to tell their secrets and with our scanning system we can help them talk to us more", she said.

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