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Scientists uncover hidden van Gogh portrait

Scientists in the Netherlands have uncovered a hidden portrait of a peasant woman painted over by the artist Vincent van Gogh. Using x-ray technology to examine work 'Patch of Grass', the eggheads were able to recreate the portrait in minute detail.

Art historians had previously identified the outline of a head hidden behind the painting. Thanks to a synchrotron called Doris, a device that accelerates sub-atomic particles, the art loving boffins were able to reconstruct van Gogh's brush strokes displaying the mystery lady's face for all the world to see.

It is estimated that over a third of the the Post-Impressionist's early work contains compositions that he subsequently painted over. So, it will be interesting to see how many other phantom van Gogh's are out there waiting to be uncovered.

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