ART experts have discovered a hidden painting beneath one of Pablo Picasso’s first masterpieces, The Blue Room.

Infrared imagery has revealed a man wearing a bow-tie, resting his head on his hand and wearing three fingers.

Curators at the Phillips Collection in Washington are now undertaking new research in order to find who this mystery man is.

Malaga-born Picasso painted The Blue Room while living in Paris in 1901.

Experts have long suspected there might be something lurking under the surface, and in the 1990s an x-ray first revealed a fuzzy image.

Scientists have been trying to piece together the clearest possible image of the hidden man ever since, using technological advances.

“It’s one of those moments that really makes what you do special,” said Patricia Favero, the conservator who recently achieved the best image yet of the man’s face.

“The second reaction was, ‘well, who is it?’ We’re still working on answering that question.”

Experts believe Picasso hurriedly painted over the work in order to get his idea down on canvas, as he could not afford to keep starting new ones.

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