A Hidden Picasso Discovered at Art Institute of Chicago

Hidden Picasso

Reusing canvases is a common practice for artists. Some pieces just don’t work out, and it seems like a waste to trash the whole canvas. We know that Picasso painted over his own work regularly. So it’s not surprising that scientists at the Art Institute of Chicago have revealed another hidden Picasso beneath one of his famous paintings, but it is exciting.

The visible painting, Still Life, is a cubist painting from 1922. Alice Toklas donated the piece along with more work from Gertrude Stein’s collection in 1953, according to Artnet News. Researchers began studying the painting because wrinkles in the painting’s surface hinted at multiple layers.

X-ray and infrared imaging technology revealed the hidden piece. “This one was oriented vertically, instead of horizontally,” says Artnet.

The hidden Picasso is also a still life, but it is much different stylistically. Instead of a cubist abstraction, it is a neoclassical composition featuring a vase and a glass. 

You can read more about the discovery in the report published in Applied Science.

Hidden Picasso
Infrared image of the revealed Picasso on the back of Still Life | Credit: Artnet News, courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago

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Cover image: Picasso’s Still Life | Credit: The Art Institute of Chicago

About the Author: Mara Blackwood

Mara Blackwood is the executive editor of RedDotBlog

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