Hidden portrait of man found beneath Picasso painting

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Curators and scientists revealed they’ve found a hidden painting beneath the surface of one of Pablo Picasso’s earliest masterpieces from 1901, “The Blue Room,” at The Phillips Collection in Washington.

Over the past five years, conservators and scientists from the museum, the National Gallery of Art, Cornell University and Delaware’s Winterthur Museum have developed a clearer image of the mystery picture under the surface.

A bearded man was found beneath Picasso's masterpiece. (Telegraph)

A bearded man was found beneath Picasso’s masterpiece. (Telegraph)

It’s a portrait of an unknown man painted in a vertical composition by one of the 20th century’s great artists.

Advances in infrared imagery reveal a man’s face resting on his hand with three rings on his fingers. He’s dressed in a jacket and bow tie.

Curators say a technical analysis confirmed it’s a work Picasso likely painted just before “The Blue Room.”