Another Painting Appears Underneath Portrait of Mexican Empress

May 28 2021

Image of Another Painting Appears Underneath Portrait of Mexican Empress

Picture: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article earlier this month relating to a discovery made by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in preparation for their revamped early American Art galleries. Indeed, x-rays revealed that hiding underneath two early nineteenth century portraits of the Emperor and Empress of Mexico were two earlier images of King and Queen of Spain, Charles IV and Maria Luisa of Parma. It seems that the artist Josephus Arias Huerta simply painted over to earlier pictures, a practise undertaken often by painters in the past.

The article captures the moment conservator Sarah Mastrangelo noticed an un-associated eye staring out of the Empress's dress:

Later, Sarah Mastrangelo would remember the eye, how it suddenly appeared, staring up at her from within the belly of the empress of Mexico. 

She gasped. 

“What is that?” she said out loud. 

A photographer standing next to her peered over to take a look. 

“It’s an eye,” he said. 

She looked again. What’s it doing there? Why is there an eye hidden beneath the empress’ heavy robes? “Have I been staring at this too long?” she wondered.

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