|Above: Raking light detail from
The Tragedy, showing impasto discernible under final image
|Above Right: Detail from The
Tragedy, showing yellow and orange paint of an earlier composition
beneath brush strokes of blue paint used for the final image
When Picasso's The Tragedy, painted in Barcelona
in 1903, was examined in the conservation studio, two visual clues suggested
the existence of changes or another painting beneath the three solemn
figures on the beach. First, raking light defined an area of impasto
that cuts across the horizontal part of the man's folded right arm, bearing
no relation to the drape of his garment.
Second, vivid yellow and orange
tones without a visual connection to the monochromatic blue of the
final painting could be seen in areas of minor abrasion and through cracks
and brush strokes in the top layer of paint.