Two PhD students in machine learning at the University of London, UK, and founded Oxia Palus, a company that aims to resurrect lost works of art using technology. From this project, the pair found a nude portrait of a crouching woman, hidden under an original painting by Pablo Picasso.
The “Lonesome Crouching Nude” was painted on canvas before 1903, when Picasso created “The Blind Man’s Meal” over it. This hidden portrait was revealed by a fluorescent X-ray image and then image processing techniques were used to reveal the painting’s true outlines. Finally, the team devised an Artificial Intelligence algorithm to recreate Picasso’s brushstrokes and used a 3D printer to print the ‘hidden’ painting on a new canvas.
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The nude dates from Picasso’s so-called Blue Period and presumably the artist did not want to have painted over it: “At that time, he was poor and the artistic materials were expensive, so he probably painted over an earlier work with a lot of reluctance,” explains George Cann, one of the students to CNN. “I would like Picasso to be happy to know that the treasure he hid for future generations is being revealed 48 years after his death and 118 years after the painting was hidden”, adds the researcher.
The same female figure is portrayed in other works and in some drawings, so it is assumed that the artist could have an affinity with the woman portrayed.
Ty Murphy, an expert not even works by Pablo Picasso and who works for Domos Art Advisors, says that the painting that has since been recreated, based on technological discoveries, resembles a work from the Blue Period, but a closer analysis of an expert would allow reveal that the painting is not an original by the artist. Still, this expert believes that, with time, the technology will be able to produce very convincing results. On the other hand, the expert also does not see any inconvenience with this type of initiatives: “History shows us that people have always emulated the work of artists. This is an exploration of the mind of Picasso”.
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