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Hidden painting found beneath Picasso masterpiece

This undated handout image provided by The Phillips Collection shows Picasso's The Blue Room, painted in 1901. (AP Photo/The Phillips Collection)
There's been an amazing discovery beneath one of Pablo Picasso's earliest masterpieces.

Curators and scientists say they've found a hidden painting beneath Picasso's 1901 work, "The Blue Room," which is part of the Phillips Collection in Washington.

The mystery picture under the surface is a portrait of an unknown man painted in a vertical composition. In the painting, he rests on his hand with three rings on his fingers and is dressed in a jacket and bow tie.

Curators say a technical analysis confirms that it's a work Picasso likely painted just before "The Blue Room."

Now the question that conservators at The Phillips Collection in Washington hope to answer is simply: Who is he? It's a mystery that's fueling new research about the painting created early in Picasso's career while he was working in Paris at the start of his distinctive blue period of melancholy subjects.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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entertainment art technology Washington DC
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