Hidden portrait by Goya revealed

News - 13 September 2011 - Webredactie MSE

Using a new reserch method an unknown portrait has been discovered underneath Goya’s master piece Portrait of Don Ramón Satué.

This painting is the only painting of the famous Spanish painter in the Netherlands and it’s owned by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The hidden portrait, most probably painted by Goya himself, was revealed using Scanning Macro X-ray – Fluorescence Spectrometry, a technique developed by the University of Antwerpen and the Delft University of Technology. “With this new mobile scanner we can simply go to a museum and analyse a painting layer for layer. This way we can reveal the different paint layers and colors underneath the visible image, without damaging the painting”, says prof. Joris Dik of the Materials Science & Engineering department.

The image underneath the portrait of Don Ramón Satué (1823) is a formal portrait of a knight of the Spanish king Joseph Bonaparte and is dated between 1809 and 1813. The discovery is featured in several television programs and in the October edition of Burlington Magazine, a well-known journal on art history.