Hidden Van Gogh Revealed in Color by Scientists

AMSTERDAM(Reuters) – Scientists have made a colored view of an early rejectedpainting underneath Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Patch of Grass’ painting, usingadvanced X-ray techniques, a Dutch university said on Wednesday.

The very detailed image shows the face of a woman and may give arthistorians a better understanding of the way Van Gogh developed as apainter.

"It is estimated that one third of Vincent van Gogh’s earlypaintings have been painted on top of existing ones. Van Gogh literallyrecycled his own canvasses," scientist Joris Dik of the DelftUniversity of Technology said.

Conventional X-ray techniques give a colorless, partial view of thehidden painting and only show vague contours of a person behind ‘Patchof Grass’, the university said.

By recycling his work Van Gogh painted many layers over the originalpainting but the scientists managed to scan all the different elementsin those layers of the relevant area with X-ray fluorescence.

"We can make a virtual 3-dimensional model of the painting and startto peel off all the layers one by one. Then we get a nice detailed viewof the hidden face," Dik said.

Van Gogh painted ‘Patch of grass’ in 1887 in Paris and it hangs inthe Kroller-Muller museum in the Dutch eastern city of Otterlo.

(Reporting by Tineke van der Struik, editing by Paul Casciato)