Colossal has a post about the hidden image discovered in a restored Vermeer painting. It got me thinking about hidden art and an artist’s intention. It is cool if an artist hides an image inside his/her work, to be discovered eventually – or not. It could be a political statement, for example a portrait of a powerful monarch with an underpainting of some of their greatest failings, or a portrait of a smiling person with the hidden words “they never looked that happy in real life but I was paid well to make them look this way”.

In this case, however, that is not the case. Colossal writes that:

…it was assumed that Vermeer had altered the piece himself. Only after they performed a series of infrared reflectography imagings, microscopic analyses, and X-ray fluorescence examinations in 2017 did they realize that the Cupid was covered decades after the painter’s death, even though they still aren’t sure who marred the original piece or when.

What was the reason for this cover up? Did a new owner of the painting object to the nudity of the cupid? We may never know. What a story though!!

(((click on the image to see a larger version)))