Picasso’s portraits within the European project CHARISMA

The group of material characterization of heritage at the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Barcelona, led by professor José Francisco García, and the Department of Preventive Conservation from the Museu Picasso with Reyes Jiménez and the assistance of Anna Vélez, have started the development of the study “Early stages of Picasso through material characterization of different portraits” within the framework of the European project CHARISMA (Cultural Heritage Advanced Research Infrastructures). This project has been coordinated by Dr. B. Brunetti from the University of Perugia, which has facilitated the use of the mobile laboratory MOLAB.

Portrait of an unknown man in the style of Greco. Pablo Picasso, 1899. Oil on canvas. 34,7 x31,2. MPB 110.034 | Portrait of an unknown man. Pablo Picasso, 1899. Oil on canvas. 47,5 x 35,2. MPB 110.026 | Portrait of Carles Casagemas. Pablo Picasso, 1899-1900. Oli sobre tela. 55 x 45. MPB 110.022 |Portrait of an old man. Pablo Picasso, 1895. Oil on canvas. 58’5 x 42’8. MPB 110.014 | Self-portrait with wig. Pablo Picasso, 1898-1900. Oil on canvas. 55’8 x 45’8. MPB 110.053 | Man in a beret. Pablo Picasso, 1895. Oil on canvas. 49 x 35’5. MPB 110.058

The study has focused on the characterization of materials of six portraits by the artist between 1895 and 1900 belonging to the Collection of the museum: Portrait of an Old Man, Man in a Beret, Self-portrait with Wig, Portrait of Carles Casagemas, Portrait of an Unknown Man, and Portrait of an Unknown Man in the Style of Greco.

This project complements the larger project started by the Department of Preventive Conservation of the museum four years ago, on the work Self-Portrait withWig.

Imaging FIScàner multiespectral

FI Imaging and Multispectral scanner

The mobile laboratory MOLAB allows the characterization of the materials with non-invasive analysis that provides information about the structure of the pieces using techniques of image in different wavelengths, as well as information about the mostly superficial chemical composition of the works using spectroscopic techniques.The project will conclude with the study of the data provided from the MOLAB by the University of Barcelona plus all the technical documentation provided by the restorers from the Museu Picasso, Barcelona.

The results foreseen will contribute to increasing the knowledge about the artistic processes of Picasso in the early stages of his production before travelling to Paris at the beginning of the 20th century.

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