It is great to see how science can help further research in the art world. Nicola Davis’s recent article in The Guardian covers the non-invasive imaging techniques used to uncover a landscape painting underneath Pablo Picasso’s La Misereuse Accroupie (The Crouching Beggar) in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.
The most interesting part of this particular project is that researchers do not believe the landscape is by Picasso. Now, they are trying to figure out whose work he painted over.
Throughout my career, I have seen many instances where the the underlying texture of a painting just did not match the image on the surface and always wondered what was lurking beneath. At some point, these imaging techniques will become cost effective … allowing dealers and collectors to have their works analyzed on a regular basis. It will not only help with authentication; but will answer a lot of questions that surround lesser artist’s works, styles and techniques.