The Los Angeles Times said scientists used synchrotron X-rays from a particle accelerator to determine what the original painting looked like before Van Gogh covered it up with his landscape "Patch of Grass" 2 1/2 years later in 1887.
The Times said the image resembles a series of portraits Van Gogh created in Nuenen. The Dutch town is where he painted "The Potato Eaters," which is considered his first major work, in 1885.
Art experts estimate about one-third of Van Gogh's early works hide other paintings since he frequently recycle his canvases, the newspaper said.
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