Ancient painting that remained hidden under Picasso’s canvas was restored with an AI

La Misreuse Accroupie (Crouching Poverty), also known as The Crouching Beggar, is a celebrated work by Pablo Picasso. About her, it was recently discovered that she is hiding under her canvas an older painting by another author.

The find was made with the help of an artificial intelligence, after a restoration work carried out by the artistic collective Oxia Palus.

A hidden work for more than a century

Since 1992 there are reports of certain anomalies in the aforementioned Picasso painting, particularly on its surface. Although this antecedent could suggest the reuse of the canvas, there is no other evidence that would allow to affirm or disprove this theory with greater certainty.

In 2018, a treatment applied to Picasso’s work, based on non-invasive techniques by means of X-ray fluorescence (X-ray fluorescence), revealed the traces of the discovered work that illustrates a landscape that, according to the observations of experts in the field , corresponds to a park in the Labyrinth of Horta, in Barcelona, ​​presumably painted by Santiago Rusiol, a friend of Picasso.

The initial reconstruction of this work limits its quality to that of a radiograph or monochrome scan. However, it was restored and is for sale today.

The team of the Oxia Palus collective took on this task with the help of a neural network. Taking as the basis for his work the restored illustration, plus a sample of other works by Rusiol used to train the AI, this restoration was obtained, built using 3D printing techniques, with the aim of the first work created on the most reliable way possible. that canvas. The technique used for this purpose is called NeoMaster Painting and corresponds to a technology that will soon be patented.

The restoration process was not only responsible for giving this painting an appearance closer to that of a well-preserved work. The AI ​​treatment emulated the artist’s brushstroke technique in terms of thickness, depth, and length.

While Picasso’s painting remains intact in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada, the restoration of Rusiol’s work is for sale at MORF Gallery in physical format, accompanied by an NFT. Its current price is $ 11,111.11 dollars and only 100 units were released for sale, of which only the last ones remain.

Out of the curiosity revealed through this process, the mechanism used opens an interesting window to perform similar restorations in a non-invasive way on classical works that, for conservation reasons, can hardly be manipulated under other more direct dynamics.

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