Woman in Blue with a Beret
is an original work that Picasso painted in Barcelona during the summer of 1903 at the age of 22 years.

This painting is very rich in what it can teach us. The two sides of the support present works signed Picasso and dated 1903.

  • The front presents an oil painting representing the portrait of Woman in Blue with a Beret.
  • The back comprises numerous « hidden tracings » formed by drawings, sketches, manuscripts inscriptions, signatures and dates. They have been discovered and revealed by the non-altering spectral observation technique using a spectral video camera VSC1 and photographed through a cathodic screen.

The Lausanne and Paris’ scientific police laboratories allowed theses discoveries which had yet remained unknown. As the Interpol journal rightly underlines in its introduction of the expertise done on this painting in its January/February 1993 issue:

« It is very important to point out the great interest that intervention by scientific police laboratories can bear on a artistic expertise. Indeed, the competences developed by these laboratories in the reading or the restoration of hidden writings take here a completely new dimension, notably through the use of non destructive spectral observation allowing the disclosure of tracings invisible to the human eye, which cannot be taken into consideration by experts and risk to remain totally ignored. »

And to conclude, « Coming as a complement to the scientific and artistic expertise of the pictorial work of Woman in Blue with a Beret, the study of the back of the painting contributes to the authentication of the work.

As a matter of fact, the inscriptions and sketches which have been revealed are rich in lessons because they recall themes often used all through Picasso’s life and work, as is proved by an extensive bibliographical research.

This approach is typical to Picasso, as it is not unusual to discover this kind of « signs - writing » which are true signatures on the back and even on the front of his works.

In the light of the study done on this painting Woman in Blue with a Beret, it would be interesting to apply the same methods of scientific investigation to other already known and listed works by Picasso which have probably not revealed all their secrets. »