Tate Papers ISSN 1753-9854

Tate Papers no.28 Autumn 2017

This issue explores paintings hidden beneath paintings on the same canvas. The seven works examined here – 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 research for these papers was generously supported by the Clothworkers’ Foundation.

Detail of face of The Handsome Pork-Butcher c.1924–6, c.1929–35 by Francis Picabia under raking light

Detail of face of The Handsome Pork-Butcher c.1924–6, c.1929–35 by Francis Picabia under raking light
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017
Photo © Tate

In this issue

Girl in a Chemise c.1905 by Pablo Picasso

Annette King , Joyce H. Townsend and Bronwyn Ormsby

The Three Dancers 1925 by Pablo Picasso

Annette King , Joyce H. Townsend and Bronwyn Ormsby

Nude Woman in a Red Armchair 1932 by Pablo Picasso

Annette King , Joyce H. Townsend and Bronwyn Ormsby

The Fig-Leaf 1922 by Francis Picabia

Annette King , Joyce H. Townsend and Bronwyn Ormsby

The Handsome Pork-Butcher c.1924–6, c.1929–35 by Francis Picabia

Annette King , Joyce H. Townsend and Bronwyn Ormsby

Otaïti 1930 by Francis Picabia

Annette King , Joyce H. Townsend and Bronwyn Ormsby

Portrait of a Doctor c.1935–1947, by Francis Picabia

Annette King , Joyce H. Townsend and Bronwyn Ormsby