Artist: Edgar Degas

Scientific Test: synchrotron x-ray fluorescence

Edgar Degas

In 2016 a portrait by Edgar Degas was discovered under an existing Portrait of a Woman, painted in 1876. Researchers had noticed a ghost painting under the surface portrait as early as 1922, but were unable to see what the under painting looked like. New technology using more intense x-ray beams was able to create a clear scan of the original portrait. Researchers soon realized the scan revealed a portrait of Emma Dobigny, a popular model who was featured in many paintings by Degas. Scientists believe that these stronger x-rays will be helpful in resolving a number of attributed works that have previously left scholars divided.

Portrait of a Woman is in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia.

Find out now if you have an authentic Edgar Degas painting or drawing: