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.