Tate Papers Explores Paintings Hidden beneath Paintings

Posted on Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:50

The most recent issue of Tate Papers explores paintings hidden beneath paintings on the same canvas. The seven works examined - three by Pablo Picasso and four by Francis Picabia - nearly all began life as different compositions and were repainted by the artist to create completely new images. Picasso's Nude Woman in a Red Armchair 1932 is the exception, painted very rapidly, possibly in a single day. Technical examination using X-radiography with ultraviolet and infrared imaging, infrared spectroscopy, pigment and medium analysis, and high-resolution microscopy as well as documentary evidence reveal these hidden images and help shed new light on the thought processes and techniques of these two artists.


The articles, all by Annette King, Joyce H. Townsend and Bronwyn Ormsby, are: ‘Girl in a Chemise c.1905 by Pablo Picasso’, ‘The Three Dancers 1925 by Pablo Picasso’, ‘Nude Woman in a Red Armchair 1932 by Pablo Picasso’, ‘The Fig-Leaf 1922 by Francis Picabia’, ‘The Handsome Pork-Butcher c.1924–6, c.1929–35 by Francis Picabia’, ‘Otaïti 1930 by Francis Picabia’ and ‘Portrait of a Doctor c.1935–1947, by Francis Picabia’.

The research for these papers was generously supported by the Clothworkers' Foundation. Tate Papers (ISSN 1753-9854) is a peer-reviewed research journal that publishes articles on British and modern international art, and on museum practice today. All articles are freely accessible online. Tate Papers allows reuse and remixing of its content in accordance with a CC BY-NC licence.