Friday, August 05, 2016

X-Ray Reveals Mysterious Face Under Degas Portrait

Reconstruction of mage discovered beneath Degas’s Portrait of a Woman.
Photograph: National Gallery of Victoria/the Australian Synchrotron

A technique called x-ray fluorescence was used to reveal a mysterious face that lay hidden beneath French impressionist artist Edgar Degas’s Portrait of a Woman for 140 years. The face has been identified for the first time as Emma Dobigny, one of the his favoured models.
"It was not unusual for artists of the time to overpaint older works, but Degas used such thin layers of oils for his 1876 Portrait of a Woman that the face of the model he sought to obscure soon began to show through. As early as 1922, art experts criticised the portrait on grounds of the discolouration produced by the underlying image."
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