A new scanning technique put together by art researchers in the US continues to undercover amazing art secrets. The newest discovery has been found beneath a Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece: The Crouching Woman or “La Misereuse Accroupie” as called in French.
Scanning systems for art pieces have existed for some time however they have always been extremely expensive for museums or individuals to use. The new x-ray fluorescence technique that art institution researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago have put together is inexpensive and best of all it is portable. The non-invasive imaging scanner lets you take a sneak peek of what lays under the visible layer of paint. Fluorescence X-ray is used because this can tell what sort of elements are used in the paint. So what did Picasso hide under his renowned artwork?
A landscape of Barcelona can be found underneath the oil painting, and it was actually used as inspiration for the crouching lady. The landscape painting beneath has been turned 90 degrees, which means the outlines of the hills are actually the crouching lady’s back. Meaning that the lady is formed from the shapes of the Catalan countryside.
The Crouching Woman is a painting from Picasso’s blue period. Which is actually a time where he was known to have painted over a lot of his artwork. This new scanning technique is very interesting for art researchers as it helps them date exactly from what period an artist’s work comes from, but not only that.
Scanning the artwork and finding out exactly how an artist put together a painting, allows us to get an unprecedented sense of how an artist worked. For the first time, we are able to retrieve a sense of how Picasso’s thought process came together when painting. We can now know the steps they took to get to the visible forms we admire on the surface of their painting.