'Lost' Picasso nude comes out of hiding, thanks to artificial intelligence

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Left, an X-ray showing lonesome crouching nude, a work found beneath Picasso’s The Blind Man’s Meal. On the right, a full-color re-creation.

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Before becoming famous, Pablo Picasso did not always have money for art materials, so, like other struggling artists, he painted over existing canvases to create new works, thus hiding earlier images.


One such painting, which has been draped beneath another for more than a century, has gained new life thanks to AI.

This is a painting of a naked woman called The Lonesome Crouching Nude. In 2010, X-rays revealed it to be hidden beneath Picasso’s 1903 oil painting. blind man’s food, is considered one of the most important works of the artist’s expressionist Blue Period from 1901 to 1904. During that time, he painted largely monochromatic works in blue and blue-green, with occasional highlights of warmer tones such as rust or gold.

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Picasso presented the crouching nude woman in distinctive blue period tones, at least according to a reconstruction that repeats the painting down to 3D brushstrokes. It is displayed on the Sunday at the opening. Deep AI Art Fair From London-based Morphe Gallery, which describes itself as the online gallery of the future showcasing limited-edition fine art.

Researchers at University College London recreated the painting using an original algorithm that studied dozens of Picasso’s paintings and trained himself in the style of the Spanish artist. Using the X-ray image as a guide, it applied its understanding of Picasso to a full-size, full-color replica.

“It’s quite terrifying to see the brushstrokes, the colors and the way the lights reflect the work,” said George Cain, one of two UCL PhDs. Researchers bringing a piece of the 20th century to life with modern equipment. “It’s a beautiful piece.”

It was also important for the artist. The Crouching Woman appears as one of two unfinished paintings in the background of another famous Picasso Blue period piece, La Vie (Life).

“The fact that the woman within The Lonesome Crouching Nude is also within La Vie and some of Picasso’s drawings suggests that Picasso may have had an affinity for this woman,” Cain said in a statement.

Cain and fellow UCL doctoral candidate Anthony Baurach have created a system for reproducing art that has been depicted. Equipment includes X-ray and/or infrared imagery to reveal hidden work; a neural network that can reproduce the work after studying the artist’s cache; an altitude map for altitude modeling; And a 3D printer to print a textured piece. Cain and Borached call their art reconstruction initiative oxia palus, and he applied it to the other hidden Picasso, lost woman, as well as a lost Modigliani.

“I believe that Picasso actively welcomed this kind of forensics,” said Baurach, “since he himself said, ‘I painted the images that arise before my eyes. This other For people to find hidden meanings.'”

The Lonesome Crouching Nude is not the first hidden painting from Picasso’s Blue Period to appear. in 2014, Infrared imaging unveils portrait of a bearded man Below another work from the Blue Period, The Blue Room, which depicts a woman taking a bath.

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