Rediscovering Titian's Ecce Homo through Art and Science

APAC Labs organized a pop-up presentation featuring the discovery of a hidden portrait beneath Titian’s Ecce Homo. Using a combination of imaging and noninvasive analytical techniques, APAC Labs researchers unveiled a hidden portrait beneath Titian’s Ecce Homo using X-ray radiography, revealing a standing man executed at a 180° angle compared to the visible composition. Advanced digital imaging and physico-chemical methods mapped the hidden painting, identified its color palette, and analyzed its materials.

This study also explored the stratigraphic relationship between the two paintings, shedding light on the artist's choices in reusing the canvas—revealing it was a completed work that was repurposed for the Ecce Homo composition. The researchers also employed a new multimodal scanner developed at APAC Laboratories. This innovative instrument allows for comprehensive exploration and identification of elements and materials in Cultural Heritage artefacts and was developed in collaboration with the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (C2RMF).

Drawing from the documentation and analysis of the materiality and the layered stratigraphy of the Pittas Ecce Homo, APAC labs researchers engaged in a dialogue with the artist Erato Hadjisavva, Dean and Professor of Painting in the Athens School of Fine Arts. As Hadjisavva attempts to reimagine lost details of the painting, every sketch and brushstroke becomes part of a dialogue between past and present, bridging generations of artists and audiences through a fascinating process shaped by science and technology.

The pop-up presentation was hosted and supported by the Cyprus Department of Antiquities. It also benefitted from the museological work and input of Elston Alphas. The presentation serves as a preliminary showcase for a public exhibition planned for winter 2024.

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