AI helps recreate painting hidden under a Picasso masterpiece

AI helped recreate a work of art that has been hidden beneath a painting by Pablo Picasso for nearly 120 years.

The mysterious landscape lurks beneath the visible surface of Picasso’s La Miséreuse Accroupie (The Crouching Beggar), a depiction of a destitute woman.

Photo credit: Oxia Palus The Crouching Beggar is a major work from Picasso’s Blue Age.

In 2018, the researchers used an X-ray fluorescence imaging instrument to get a faint image of the scene being covered.

Art historians suspect that it is a painting in a park near Barcelona by Santiago Rusiñol, a friend of Picasso and leader of the Catalan movement for modernism. Theand I think Picasso traced the hills in the landscape to contour the woman’s crouching back.

[Read: New AI technique transforms any image into the style of famous artists]

The x-ray had exposed a dim shadow of the painting. AI was used to reconstruct the image in detail and color.

Revive buried art

The recovery was made from Oxia Palus, an art collective that uses AI to uncover lost masterpieces.

The Oxia Palus team used a combination of spectroscopic imaging, AI and 3D printing to update the visible traces of the landscape. They call the method “the neomastic process”.

They then used a 3D elevation map to layer Rusiñol-style paint on the canvas. They say the approach integrates the depth, thickness, and approximate length of the artist’s brush strokes into the recreation.

Oxia Palus co-founder George Cann says the process can shed light on hidden works of art:

As we use more AI to expedite the identification and reconstruction of critically important lost art, we will have a significant impact on enabling a better understanding of the interwoven history of art and society.

Oxia Palus is now selling 100 of the canvases with the inevitable accompaniment of an NFT.

We can’t know how exactly the reinterpretation will match Rusiñol’s original, but the technique could be an interesting tool for art historians.

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Published on April 8, 2021 – 18:29 UTC

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