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Hidden detail revealed in Picasso's famous painting at NYC Museum: 'Interesting artistic choice'

The museum revealed the finding of a lapdog wearing a red bow in the painting, which had gone unnoticed for decades

Hidden detail revealed in Picasso's famous painting at NYC Museum: 'Interesting artistic choice'
Cover Image Source: Guggenheim Museum

In a recent discovery, a hidden detail has been found in Pablo Picasso's painting, located at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The museum informed about the new discovery in a press release last week. A lapdog wearing a red bow was present in "Le Moulin de la Galette" and has been confirmed by the museum. Picasso completed the painting after he came to Paris in 1900, reported CNN.

In the beautiful artwork, many couples are seen dancing in beautiful hats, along with quick brushwork. We can also see a few people sitting and enjoying their supper in this mesmerizing painting.


"As the final composition evolved, Picasso hastily covered the dog with strokes of brown paint, leaving the contour of its head evident and allowing hints of the underlying colors to show through," the museum stated. "Picasso directed more attention toward the figures and the space by eliminating the canine. Nevertheless, he left visible clues of the compositional change, which would become a frequent practice for the artist."


The finding comes ahead of the exhibition, "Young Picasso in Paris," which includes 10 drawings and paintings from Picasso's early creations in Paris, where the Spanish artist chose to settle for his life. Non-destructive X-ray fluorescence was used to make this discovery possible, per People.

Tom Williams, an art history instructor at Belmont University in Nashville, said, “It’s hard to imagine this particular painting with a dog in the foreground. I’m not sure a dog, and particularly a lap dog, makes sense in the dark, unease and erotically charged atmosphere that Picasso conjured up so brilliantly in this picture," per The New York Times.

"It was interesting to me that he hastily painted over this dog, which would have been a rather compelling aspect of the composition," the Guggenheim's senior paintings conservator, Julie Barten told CNN. He also said that it was an "interesting artistic choice."


According to the experts, the dog might be Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and he might have removed it because it was "too distracting" for those who looked at the painting. "It would have stolen the show," Barten continued. " Viewers can look more carefully at all of these other wonderful figures in the composition — to experience the space in different ways."


“We see, more and more, that this was part of Picasso’s working process,” she explained. “As he developed a composition, he would paint out certain elements or transform them into new compositional details. And, very often, he would leave aspects of the underlying original compositions still evident to a viewer who was looking very closely. The painting was really veiled by this layer of surface grime." Barten added that now “all of the subtleties in his palette and his brushwork, all of the lavish textiles and expressions and gestures have really come to life.”

Barten also said that this painting is the "centerpiece" in the show dedicated to Picasso at the Guggenheim, and it joins several other exhibitions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the artist's death in 1973. "Young Picasso in Paris" can be seen from May 12 - August 6.

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