Man Emerges From Picasso's Painting 'The Blue Room' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Man Emerges From Picasso's Painting 'The Blue Room'

A bearded man lurks beneath the surface of a famous Picasso painting. That's the image brought to us by curators who used new technology to find details of a portrait the artist painted over when he created his famous The Blue Room in 1901.

The painting's surface depicts a scene in Pablo Picasso's studio in Paris, with a woman bathing between a window and a table. But a different scene lies underneath, as infrared and other analysis shows a man in a bow tie staring out from the canvas, his head propped on his hand.

The Blue Room is at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Researchers from the museum and other institutions recently showed the AP the newly uncovered details of what lies beneath the painting.

"It's really one of those moments that really makes what you do special," Phillips conservator Patricia Favero tells the AP. "The second reaction was, 'Well, who is it?' We're still working on answering that question."

The likely reason the canvas was reused, curators say, was that Picasso didn't have the money to use a new canvas for each new work early in his career.

The AP says this isn't the first time a different work has been found beneath a Picasso:

"A technical analysis of La Vie at the Cleveland Museum of Art revealed Picasso significantly reworked the painting's composition. And conservators found a portrait of a mustached man beneath Picasso's painting Woman Ironing at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

How Scientists Created A Typhus Vaccine In A 'Fantastic Laboratory'

Arthur Allen's new book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, describes how a WWII scientist in Poland smuggled the typhus vaccine to Jews — while his team made a weakened version for the Nazis.
NPR

Glass Or No Glass? That Is The Grill Lid Question

Would you be a better cook if you could see your food on the grill without lifting the lid? We take a peek under the hood of an innovative glass-top grill that claims to help prevent the dreaded burn.
NPR

VA Nominee Steps Before Senate Committee

Robert McDonald, President Obama's nominee to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, is appearing before the Senate for his confirmation hearing. He faces the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
NPR

9/11 Commission Issues An Update On Anniversary Of Report

Saying that the world has changed "dramatically," the report's authors write that al-Qaida groups have spread, and the threat for cyberterrorism has grown.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.