"Hidden" Paintings

This morning, one of the trending stories online was about "Pablo Picasso hidden portrait found beneath famous painting 'The Blue Room'". I clicked over to read the accompanying article and I began to think about what Picasso would think about the ability of art conservators to "find" these painted over canvases...Would he be mad that a portrait he did not care to keep is now being revealed?

Artists paint over some of their paintings. Some artists use a single canvas MANY times before ending up with a painting that they deem good enough to exhibit or sell. We may not be Picasso, but would we want these paintings revealed to the public? I tend to think we would not.

The act of painting over a painting can be a bit sad, but is often cathartic as well. It gives you a clean slate to begin again. The thought that the first painting is "still there" is quite a strange concept to think about. I paint over a canvas on occasion. In my case, I often do this because I hate to waste anything or throw away anything that could be reused or repurposed. Will my thoughts on this subject change this practice? Perhaps stretching new canvas on the old stretchers will be a more desirable method in the future.

What are your thoughts on uncovering paintings that an artist has deliberately covered up? Fascinating? Invasion of privacy? Cost of fame?

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