An international partnership of the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS), the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and the National Gallery of Art, Washington has used multiple modes of light to uncover details hidden beneath the visible surface of Pablo Picasso’s painting “La Miséreuse accroupie” (The Crouching Woman), a major work from the artist’s Blue Period. The 1902 oil painting, owned by the AGO in Toronto, Canada, depicts a crouching and cloaked woman, painted in white, blues, grays, and greens.
Researchers used non-invasive portable imaging techniques, including infrared reflectance hyperspectral imaging adapted by the National Gallery of Art, and then an X-ray fluorescence imaging instrument developed at Northwestern, to detail buried images connected to other works by Picasso, including a watercolor recently sold at auction, as well as the presence of a landscape likely by another Barcelona painter underneath “La Miséreuse accroupie.”
NU-ACCESS members who are studying the painting are Walton, Casadio, and postdoctoral fellows Emeline Pouyet and Gianluca Pastorelli. Read more