MOSCOW, Feb. 22 — The Philadelphia-based Barnes Foundation has discovered two unfinished sketches by Paul Cezanne on the back of his watercolors that the museum took down from its gallery for conservation work, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
"We had no reason to think there was anything there," Barbara Buckley, the Barnes' senior director of conservation and chief painting conservator, said as quoted by the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturday.
According to Buckley, Cezanne's "Chaîne de l'Étoile Mountains" and "Trees" watercolors were sent to the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia last year, because the paintings needed their backing changed.
"That's one of the reasons they were sent [for conservation]. Brown paper is very acidic, and they needed acid-free paper," Buckley explained.
Once the backing paper was removed, the conservators discovered two unfinished sketches, with the one on the back of "Chaîne de l'Étoile Mountains" done in pencil and watercolor and the second one drawn using graphite.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, unknown Cezanne drawings are rare discoveries. Only about 15 have been found in the last 30 years, the newspaper reported, citing Barnes officials.
The Barnes Foundation plans to put the Cezanne watercolors on display in double-sided frames that will allow viewers to see the back-side sketches.
Paul Cezanne was a French post-Impressionist painter, who lived in the second half of the 19th century. (PNA/Sputnik)