Infrared imaging technology has helped to see below the Pablo Picasso painting “Mother and son in front of the sea”(1902), on display in Japan, and revealed a 1902 newspaper page and another work below the original.
Japanese and American researchers scanned the work, owned by the Pola Art Museum in Hakone, west of Tokyo, and discovered a page from the French newspaper Le Journal from January 18, 1902.
“While the reason for the newspaper's presence on the canvas is a mystery, the discovery is significant to Picasso scholars due to the proximity of the date of the artist's transfer from Paris to Barcelona”Explained the National Gallery of Art in Washington, whose researcher John Delaney led the project.
It is believed that Picasso moved to the Spanish city in early January 1902 bringing some canvases with him, and the newspaper article revealed in the painting suggests that the work was completed some time after his move.
The scan also provided clear images of an underlying painting of a woman sitting next to a glass of absinthe with a spoon.
Picasso he frequently reused canvases or incorporated earlier sketches into a final work.
However, it is not clear why the artist used a page from Le Journal, which is known to be a newspaper that he read frequently. "It could have been used to cover previous layers before painting another layer, or the same final composition of the mother and child”, The researchers explained.
The newspaper's sheet reported on parliamentary clashes in London and the opening of a new annual painting and sculpture exhibition at the Automobile Club de France, a gentlemen's club in Paris.
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