Science Reveals Hidden Secrets in Picasso Works


AUSTIN—Looking at a Pablo Picasso painting could be confusing itself. But scientists using x-rays have revealed secrets behind both paintings and sculptures of the famed artist.

The Northwestern University researchers traced the exact composition of metals in five bronze casts to a specific foundry in World War II-era Paris. Another team even revealed a hidden painting behind the artist’s blue-period masterpiece, La Misereuse Accroupie.

“We can give a richer history of art that’s enhanced by scientific findings,” said Francesca Casadio, Executive Director of Conservation and Science at the Art Institute of Chicago, at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences in Austin, Texas.

Picasso painted La Misereuse Accroupie in 1902, and it is currently on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The researchers used a non-invasive technique called x-ray fluorescent spectroscopy to…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

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Sasha Harriet

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