Something happened recently that shook the art community worldwide – a man’s portrait has been found under Picasso’s painting titled “Blue Room.” While it’s not uncommon for paintings to be discovered beneath already famous works of art, this “new” hidden painting is one to be noted.

Why is that? Because this painting in particular is one of Pablo Picasso’s first masterpieces – created in 1901, he painted this gorgeous image in Paris during his world-famous “blue period.” The era was named as such because he had this strange liking to painting in only shades of blue and blue-green for about 5 years (1900 to 1904).

Here’s a photo of the original painting, courtesy of AP and The Phillips Collection:

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Now, many art experts and scientists from The Phillips Collection, Cornell University, National Gallery of Art, and Delaware’s Winterthur Museum have uncovered a peculiar yet magnificent work of art hidden beneath Picasso’s famed piece. The group has been studying it since 2008, and with the help of scientific techniques such as infrared imagery, they uncovered this little secret.

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This has been actually going on for about 50 or so years. Back in 1954, people already suspected there might be something else under the masterpiece because the brush strokes in it didn’t exactly match what was seen. About 20 years ago, they did an X-ray on the image and a “fuzzy” picture could be made out.

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Today, with improved infrared technology, they’ve finally uncovered the full image! It’s a portrait of a bearded man, wearing a jacket and bow tie, with his face resting on his hand. He’s seen wearing what seems to be three rings.

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They still don’t know who the man is, which is just the mystery the group is now trying to solve. After all, this isn’t the first time someone discovered a painting within a painting under Picasso’s work – original studies of the painting “La Vie” was found beneath “Woman Ironing.”

Pictures are courtesy of Associated Press Photos, Evan Vucci, and The Phillips Collection. Here’s a link to AP’s full story and video. Thanks for reading!