Neuroscientist Anthony Bourached and physicist George Cann, both PhD candidates at UCL, used x-rays, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 3D-printing to recreate the lost painting.
Analysing Picasso’s brushstrokes in other paintings, they trained an algorithm to simulate how the original painting looked. The pair told how they hoped the recreation would ensure Picasso’s “hidden treasure” would not be “erased from history”.
Mr Cann, whose main focus is analysing trace gases in the Martian atmosphere, said: “It’s very exciting to see a work that’s been locked up.
“It’s quite eerie seeing the brushstrokes, the colour and the way in which light reflects off the work. It’s a very beautiful piece.”
Hidden painting finally revealed
He added: “I hope Picasso would be happy in knowing the treasure he’s hidden for future generations is finally being revealed, 48 years after his death and 118 years after the painting was concealed. I also hope that the woman within the portrait would be happy in knowing that she hadn’t been erased from history and that her beauty was finally being revealed in the 21st century.”
Mr Bourached, a specialist in high-dimensional neuroscience, trying to model human behaviour through AI, said: “Picasso likely painted over this piece with reluctance.
“It was common for his blue period work as it was early in his career and materials were expensive… Its appearance in the background of one of his most famous Blue Period pieces, La Vie, indicates that it was likely significant to him.”
The recreated painting will be unveiled at the Morf Gallery in London on Oct 13, part of the capital’s first “Deeep” AI art festival.http://www.deeep.art
In 1901, aged 21, desperately poor and depressed by the suicide of a close friend, the artist began to create melancholic paintings, finding inspiration in society’s outcasts, with blind and lonely beggars among his subjects.