An X- ray examination by l’Institut
D’art, Conservation et Couleur of Paris disclosed a different
underlying composition from the portrait visible to the naked eye. This
underlying composition is certainly worthy of interest, but it is hard
to identify since Picasso covered it with a thick white preparation using
a wide brush passed in all directions. This first composition, if we refer
to the indications on the back of the painting (signature Ruiz, drawing
of a calf, etc.) was done between 1895 and 1900. This was something that
Picasso often did at the time for multiple reasons. Among which,
- Due to shortage of financial resources, he re-used supports
even if they carried a remarkable work.
- To satisfy an inspiration or a sudden urge to paint
a specific subject and had no other support at hand.