Posted in education, electronic imaging and displays, Illumination, museum, Optics

Woman’s face found under van Gogh painting

Scientists have used a new technique of spectroscopy, “a new technique based on synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy,” to be exact, to reveal a portrait of a woman buried beneath Vincent van Gogh’s painting “Patch of Grass.” The x-rays measure the amounts of lead or mercury in each level, which then light up to reveal different patterns on the canvas, or faces in this case. They could also determine that the woman, whose identity remains a mystery, was painted in browns and reds. Apparently Vinnie was well known for painting over his own work, up to a third of the time according to all the articles about this image.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.